Gavel Grab

Poll: Most Americans For Cameras in Supreme Court

According to a USA Today/Gallup poll, 72 percent of Americans believe that cameras should be allowed in U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments, reports Politico. In fact, 77 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of Independents, and at least two thirds of all other polled demographics support cameras in the Court.

The rare bipartisan support on the issue triggered recent legislation by Sens. Richard Durbin and Charles Grassley, seeking to “force the Supreme Court to allow its public proceeds to be televised, streamed to the Internet and video taped,” according to a Stockton (Calif.) Record editorial. The quandary with this bill is that, upon passage, it pins the legislative and judiciary branches against one another if the Supreme Court chooses to ignore the ruling of Congress, continues the editorial.

The Record editorial adds that proponents of the cameras cite how many courts across the country allow recordings of their proceedings, including the Second and Ninth U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. Those hesitant about cameras in the Court fear that “attorneys will showboat, [that] the issues are too complex, [that] video will be edited by those with nefarious intent, and [that] judges won’t ask probing questions for fear of being judged as biased.”

In the New York Times, readers debated the impact of cameras in the Supreme Court in the “Sunday Dialogue” feature. For more information about cameras in the courts, see Gavel Grab.

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