Funny story, with this serious coda:
In the end, I spent $200 on equipment, around $20 on gas, probably another $20 on electricity (since laser printing is very energy intensive), $300 on the official fee, $95 on fancy paper, $26 on binding, and $24 on postage. Then I sold the LaserJet 5000N for $175 and bought a LaserJet 9050dn (worth nearly $4,000) for $280. My total costs therefore came to about $790, of which $490 was spent preparing the booklets. (I won’t include the expense of Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, or the years spent acquiring desktop publishing skills because I already had all of those things, unlike the other ingredients in this crazy soup.) So I basically saved myself up to $1,410, or 75% of the quoted expense.
I also couldn’t help but to use the brief itself to make a point to the Court about their Rule. Despite the strong suggestion that one ask the Court to answer no more than three questions, I added a fourth to my Petition: “WHETHER, this Court’s Rules regarding document submission (e.g. Rule 33.1) and the various conflicting rules of lower courts serve the interests of justice in an age of instantaneous and costless information transmission over the internet.” It’s extremely doubtful that the Court will actually answer it.
Clearly, the Rule begs many questions. How can the Supreme Court reasonably expect people to file if they are not incredibly wealthy or already professional printers? Why are the dimensions required so unusual? Who cut their hand on a staple? How much does it cost the Court to process documents in this manner, and how much would using an electronic process save? And most fundamentally, if this abject nonsense is typical of the justice system at the highest levels, why do we place our trust in it at all?