O'Connor urges judges to tailor rulings
May 14, 1983
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RENO, Nev. - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra O'Connor urged state judges Friday to tailor decisions carefully so that fewer cases reach the high court. O'Connor, speaking to graduates of the financially strapped National Judicial College, also called for greater emphasis on judicial education and training. O'Connor added that as a state-court judge in Arizona, "I didn't fully appreciate the extent to which the manner of my resolution of a case could determine" whether it could be appealed to federal courts. She said state-court judges don't realize that many of their rulings could be final if they are based solely on state law rather than federal law. "The Supreme Court is bound to accept the highest state-court view on issues of state law," O'Connor told 105 judges from around the nation completing sessions at the college. "State courts have the power, in effect, to grant or withhold jurisdiction from the Supreme Court . . . merely by the choice and articulation of the grounds of the state-court decision," she said. O'Connor added that as a state-court judge in Arizona, "I didn't fully appreciate the extent to which the manner of my resolution of a case could determine" whether it could be appealed to federal courts. O'Connor is the first high-rourt justice to have attended the Judicial College, which offers training and refresher courses for the nation's judges. She attended while still a Superior Court judge in Arizona. O'Connor joked that she is proud to have attended