"I just don't see any way our national reputation will get better until we start to get in-step with the way other states handle appeals."
Previous attempts by the Legislature to establish an intermediate appeals court have failed. And while Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, once was lead sponsor of a bill that would have created an intermediary court, Thomas holds out little hope the Legislature will establish the court anytime soon.
Newly elected House Speaker Tim Miley previously opposed the idea when he served as House Judiciary chairman.
Thomas still predicts the court will become an issue in next year's mid-term elections.
"If the leaders of the Legislature won't fix our broken legal system, perhaps the voters will," he said.
On Monday, Supreme Court clerk Rory Perry told lawmakers the state Supreme Court is on track to issue more than 1,300 merits decisions by the end of 2013. The court issued just 162 decisions before the rule change in 2010.
He said the system reduces delay in issuing opinions and increases the court's transparency to the public, since each appeal receives a written reply. Most feedback has been positive.
"We believe that this system is thorough, it's fair, it takes into account the needs of due process for appeals," Perry said.