Sunshine in the Supreme Court

Video cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court to hold it more accountable.

Whenever a monumental Supreme Court case is decided and media outlets need to alert the public, they struggle to find a captivating image of the drama playing out behind closed doors. Recently, the topic became newsworthy after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was angered by a questioner who asked him why he opposes allowing video cameras to record court proceedings , according to eyewitnesses at an event in Florida. The arguments against allowing video cameras to record the arguments include worries that more coverage may allow for more public input into the judiciary process. If you see whatâÄôs happening, you may be more likely to speak about the topic, and the discussion may affect how the decision is made. Opening up the Supreme Court may cause less information to get to the justices. Sensitive information may be less likely to be spoken if the media has access. Proponents of allowing video cameras to record arguments point to the extensive filming of Congress and the executive branch. More Americans are able to see their representatives arguing, making Congress more accountable. Bills have been created to mandate the use of video cameras during oral arguments, but Congress has yet to force the media and the country through the courtroomâÄôs doors. Allowing ordinary Americans âÄî not just those able to make the trek to Washington, D.C., and watch the arguments âÄî to see firsthand how the Supreme Court reaches its decisions may allow for more discussion and reflection. Showing arguments that explain the issue at hand from varying angles has the potential to expand the minds of Americans and allow each person to analyze what he or she believes should happen. Give the populace the chance to think critically about the issues and their importance for themselves, instead of being spoon-fed analysis of others. Place the power to decide back into the hands of the people. This editorial, accessed via UWire, was originally published in the Iowa State Daily at Iowa State University. Please send comments to [email protected]