There are understandable reasons for televising U.S. Supreme Court arguments. It is reasonable for the American public to want to understand the thinking behind so many important decisions, and other governmental branches have allowed electronic media access, as have lower courts. Such access, however, would be misleading, as oral arguments would receive attention that is disproportionate to their significance. For many justices, oral arguments play an insignificant role in their decision making, and the remarks they make during such arguments may not be indicative of their actual stances. Televising the Court's oral arguments, may result in undue attention for those justices with the sharpest wit, leading to a misrepresentation of the Court. Furthermore, the Supreme Court is already more open than the executive and legislative branches, rendering the televising of its arguments unnecessary. Although there would be some benefits to televising the Court's proceedings, the potentially harmful results are far more numerous.
Publication Information & Recommended Citation
Whitman, Christina B. "Cameras Should Not Be Allowed in the Supreme Court." In Should Cameras Be Allowed in Courtrooms?, edited by A. Hiber, 44-8. At Issue Series. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008.