LA Times op-ed on televising Supreme Court arguments

Go here to read the op-ed by law prof. Eric Segall, 

A couple questions for our readers: Would you have liked to watch the argument in the Fair Debt Collection Act just decided by the Supreme Court, Henson v. Santandar Consumer USA, live on the Internet? Would you like to watch it now? Well, you couldn't watch live. And you can't watch it now — or ever. That's because the Supreme Court doesn't permit it. A key reason given by the Justices is their worry that lawyers would play to the cameras, hurting the quality of oral argument. That seems possible to me, at least every once in a while.

But apparently lots of judges with experience disagree. And Segall said something I did not know: all state high courts have cameras in the courtroom. And some, like Texas, live-stream them. Segall quotes Texas Supreme Court Justice Tom Willett:

My court has been webcasting for a decade. No hiccups. No regrets. No going back. We inhabit a hyper-partisan age, and there's enormous civic-education upside in We the People seeing their judges tackle fateful issues with thoughtfulness and civility. I wouldn’t presume to lecture the Supreme Court of the United States, but our experience has been overwhelmingly positive.

He also responds to the concern from "some judges" that "televising court proceedings could make them targets of violence from disappointed litigants or the public at large" with a quote from Seventh Circuit judge Richard Posner:

As far as I am able to determine, there has never been an incidence of violence resulting from such televising. … Yet fear of violence has been a standard excuse for refusing to allow judicial proceedings to be televised. Standard and phony.


0 thoughts on “LA Times op-ed on televising Supreme Court arguments

  1. Edwin Bell says:

    I listened to the argument provided by the Supreme Court available online. The case of Henson v. Santander Consumer USA Inc. was weak and pathetic…that’s why consumers took a licking…visuals would not have helped this sorry consumer case. Santander was a set-up by consumer lawyers to diminish consumer law.
    Very Sad!

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