20
Nov
11

Cameras in Court Should Be Supreme

For three years, Americans have been obsessed with the battle over health care reform. They have swamped congressional town halls on the subject, tuned in to House and Senate debates and votes on the issue and paid close attention to President Obama’s statements both on television and in public appearances.

Now, the Supreme Court has announced that it will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the act, in a special 5 1/2-hour session unprecedented in recent times.

That argument will be viewed by a few people who get up early to get in line at the Supreme Court building.

The Supreme Court has never allowed TV cameras to cover its public arguments, only recently allowing audio tapes, giving the court exactly the same visibility it had when it considered the Dred Scott case. Courts across the country have decided that allowing the public to see what they do — conducting what the Sixth Amendment calls “a speedy and public trial” — did not clash with the seriousness of their mission. So far, no cameras — generally controlled by the courts — have ignored the arguments to focus on a lawyer’s funny tie.

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