Justice David Souter once famously told a congressional committee that “the day you see a camera come into our courtroom, it’s going to roll over my dead body.” The courtroom sketch artists may agree with the sentiment, but in this age of transparency, isn’t it high time we invited cameras, and thus the American people, into the Supreme Court?
Cameras — both still and moving — met a hostile reaction back in 1965 in the famous Supreme Court case of Estes v. Texas. There the high court reversed the conviction of notorious financier Billy Sol Estes, finding that his right to due process had been violated because of the publicity his pretrial hearing generated. That hearing was covered live by both TV and radio, which all sides conceded had caused considerable disruption.
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