Judicial Overreach: State Supreme Court Undercuts Grand Jury Process
June 26, 2018
The state Supreme Court has finally explained its decision last week to delay the release of a grand juryís report on the sexual abuse of children in six Catholic dioceses. In part, the court wants to give the law establishing grand juries the once-over.
It wants to review criticism the grand jury included about an unknown number of individuals, determine whether they had ample opportunity to defend themselves and, if it concludes their due-process rights were violated, presumably rule on whether those folks should be kept out of a report thatís now hundreds of pages long.
The court gave no timetable for vetting the report, and Supreme Court justices arenít known for burning the midnight oil, so anguished victims who have long waited to tell their stories will just have to keep biding their time.
The court didnít even promise to release whatís left of the report when itís completed any slicing and dicing it deems necessary. This isnít the kind of ruling that boosts public trust in the judiciary. But it is precisely the kind of ruling that emasculates grand juries.