Tags: souter | cameras

Souter's Exit Opens Door for High Court Cameras

Monday, 11 May 2009 02:24 PM

By Jim Meyers

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

The impending retirement of Justice David Souter has given new hope to proponents of televising oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Souter expressed extremely strong opposition to televising court proceedings when he told a House Appropriations subcommittee in 1996: "I think the case is so strong that I can tell you the day you see a camera come into our courtroom, it's going to roll over my dead body."

None of the other sitting justices has gone on record as favoring cameras in court, but Souter "was the proposal's most ardent public foe," according to Politico.

Brian Lamb, founder and CEO of C-CPAN — which already televises congressional proceeding — said: "Justice Souter going off the court means a vocal opponent is gone."

He added that Chief Justice John Roberts may have been reluctant to deal with the issue while Souter was on the court.

As for concerns that televising oral arguments could encourage grandstanding by attorneys before the court, Lamb told Politico:

"The chief justice who has his hand on the gavel can control any kind of rambunctiousness in which lawyers might want to show off. The public would benefit by seeing this isn't 'Judge Judy.' The process of writing opinions will never be public. All we're asking for is the public discussions for one hour. It's a public forum, and there's only 80 of those a year."

Justice Stephen Breyer in April acknowledged that televised arguments would allow Americans to "see how in some of these difficult issues we struggle with them." But he cautioned that viewers might not comprehend that oral arguments comprise only a small portion of the judicial process.

Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has introduced legislation to allow cameras in the Court, but the measures have gone nowhere, Politico noted.

The court does release transcripts of oral arguments within several hours after their conclusion, and occasionally issues audiotapes of proceedings.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

GSK Ebola Vaccine Fast-tracked for Human Trials

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 20:37 PM

Preliminary results in human volunteers are promising from U.S. trials of one of the leading Ebola vaccine candidates. . . .

Gun-Buy Background Checkers Overwhelmed, Fear Black Friday

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 20:29 PM

While gun-control advocates keep up the pressure for extended background checks on firearms buyers, last year the federa . . .

Cosby Testimony Describes Accuser's Spiked Story

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 19:57 PM

Bill Cosby testified under oath in 2005 that he gave the National Enquirer an exclusive interview about looming sexual-a . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved