Goodnight Status Quo


Lorri Montgomery
Director of Communications
National Center for State Courts

Chief justices: Goodnight Status Quo

Five state court chief justices featured in Goodnight Moon video tribute

Williamsburg, Va., September 17, 2020 – A Constitution Day edition of the National Center for State Courts’ Tiny Chats video series focuses on six guiding principles courts should follow when considering the adoption of new technology. Hosts Danielle Hirsch and Zach Zarnow open the edition by discussing the principles and how to apply them—but the show is stolen when five state chief justices are brought in to read to the hosts with a tribute to the 1947 children’s classic, Goodnight Moon. A 90-second video of the Chief Justices reading Goodnight Status Quo—complete with illustrations—can be seen here.

In July, the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) adopted a resolution supporting those six core principles in the adoption of new technology. The principles were developed by a working group focused on how new technology can, should and should not be adopted by courts in response to the COVID pandemic. The NCSC website includes access to the full set of the principles and related guidance, as well as the CCJ-COSCA resolution. You can also find more information and resources about CCJ-COSCA’s Pandemic Rapid Response Team (RRT).

“For the last six months, state court leaders have worked nonstop to maintain access to justice while ensuring ways to keep those in need of court services safe and healthy,” said Hirsch, one of the co-hosts of the Tiny Chats series. “The pandemic has made it plain that the status quo in court operations is a thing of the past. Courts across the country are innovating. And we wanted to find a fun way to point that out.”

Tiny Chats episode 22 features Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht (Texas), who serves as President of CCJ. Chief Justices Anne M. Burke (Illinois), Richard A. Robinson (Connecticut), and Martha L. Walters (Oregon) also take turns reading the court technology-inspired tribute, which was written by Hirsch and Zarnow.

“In the great green room, there was a telephone, and a microphone, and a picture of—a courthouse gone virtual, full-blown,” reads Chief Justice Burke of Illinois.

“Goodnight status quo; goodnight paper clips; goodnight courthouse roundtrips,” quips Chief Justice Robinson of Connecticut.

The video concludes with a reading from—and a dedication to—the late Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants of Massachusetts. Chief Justice Gants passed away on September 14.

The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership, innovation, and service to the state courts and courts around the world. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to courts and other justice system partners.

National Center for State Courts, 300 Newport Avenue, Williamsburg, VA 23185-4147