Ten years ago, Supreme Court Justice David Souter said cameras would roll into the Supreme Court “over my dead body.” Souter is still standing, but votes by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week may have brought the day closer when high court proceedings will be covered electronically.

Bills aimed specifically at requiring the televising of the Supreme Court (S. 1768) and permitting it at federal courts in general, including the Supreme Court (S. 829), were endorsed by the Senate Judiciary Committee March 30. The full House last fall passed a bill (H.R. 1751) similar to the more general legislation, which would give the chief judge or justice in each federal court broad discretion to allow or bar camera access. “The judicial branch may be the only unelected branch of government, but that doesn’t mean they should operate in secret,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, cosponsor of S. 829.

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