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John Roberts: No Pictures, Please

Will the Supreme Court be televised? Not if Chief Justice John Roberts has his way. As both the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press report this morning, Roberts yesterday told lawyers and judges at the 9th Circuit Judicial Conference not to expect televised proceedings anytime soon -- and perhaps never. Cameras might have an adverse effect on the court as an institution, he said, adding: "We don't have oral arguments to show people, the public, how we function."

Maybe that is not why the court has oral arguments, but what reason is that for limiting them from public view? I wonder what former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis would think, who wrote in 1933, "Sunlight is the greatest disinfectant." Public education may not be the purpose of oral arguments, but what's wrong with it as a corollary?

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on July 14, 2006 at 01:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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