Cameras At Court

SCOTUS Favorables

Al Tompkins can’t understand why Americans don’t demand televised access to Supreme Court arguments:

Last year, the court decided the future of the nation’s health care system. In 2000, it effectively decided who would be president. The public can’t witness these decisions being made because, as Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy have suggested, people might not understand the complex work of the court, cameras could hurt the dynamics of the court, and someone might mug for the camera. … It reminds me of the Wicked Witch of the West saying to Dorothy: “These things must be done delicately or you hurt the spell.” I think justices — presumably some of the most honorable citizens among us — can control their behavior on the bench and resist the “insidious dynamic” that a camera might produce.

It might help SCOTUS’s public image as well:

Just this week, a new Pew survey shows the Supreme Court’s favorability rating is near a historic low. The court should not concern itself with popularity polls, but it should concern itself with public trust. Nothing builds trust like openness. Nothing builds openness more than access. It is time to reverse a 41-year ban on cameras in courtrooms.