Is the U.S. Supreme Court due for a camera in its courtroom?

 Judges have been open to the prospect of having cameras in court in just about every situation I’ve encountered in our local court system.  As you ascend to the higher courts, the access is just as good — indeed, the Washington State Supreme Court is often broadcasted on TVW, the state’s cable network.

But there’s a ceiling to that access: the U.S. Supreme Court.

Something that surprises me is that no cameras have ever been allowed into the chambers of the highest court in the land, even despite the court’s limited seating. That means less access to witness the oral arguments concerning many of the most important issues of our time.

In the New York Times on Sunday, Kenneth W. Starr — who you may recall from his days as special prosecutor investigating a few alleged indiscretions of President Bill Clinton — called for the high court to finally allow cameras.

” … There is no reason the public should be denied access to their consideration of and arguments about urgent questions — from global warming to health care — that affect us all,” he wrote in the Times. “Cameras in the courtroom of the United States Supreme Court are long overdue.”

Critics, some of them on the court itself, have argued the justices could begin jockeying for sound bytes to generate publicity. But as Starr points out, you can already get the audio recordings of the court sessions.

Would you support opening the supreme court to cameras? And if so, why?

 

7 thoughts on “Is the U.S. Supreme Court due for a camera in its courtroom?

  1. Sounds like you put a little spin on the Clinton’s alleged “indiscretions”……like you were having difficulty schmoozing out the words about such a modern day hero of the republic.

    1. Owen,

      Good call. How would you characterize them? I searched for the right wording to encompass Mr. Starr’s work during the Clinton years and that’s what I came up with. I welcome your definition, too.

      -Josh

    1. heybooboo,

      My recollection is some were proved, some were not. So yes, indiscretions and some alleged indiscretions.

      -Josh

  2. Hey Josh. You’re probably familiar with Opencourt.org, a pilot court video project in the Boston area. It’s a pretty cool project. You just made me think of it.
    Best,
    Laura

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