Cameras Likely to Remain Off-Limits at SCOTUS

US Supreme CourtDespite strong bipartisan support among lawmakers for a bill to allow cameras in federal courtrooms – including the U.S. Supreme Court –  any change in policy for the nation’s highest court is likely a long way off, according to coverage in SCOTUSblog.

A House panel this week heard testimony that was largely favorable to the so-called Sunshine in the Courtroom Act, the latest proposal to permit cameras in federal courts. Supporters argued that allowing proceedings to be televised would give the public more insight into the judicial process and increase public confidence.  The lone opponent to testify, U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson, spoke on behalf of the Judicial Conference of the United States and argued that permitting cameras in courtrooms could jeopardize the safety of court personnel and infringe on a defendant’s right to a fair trial.

SCOTUSblog notes that even if the bill were eventually to pass, the possibility of  cameras being welcomed at the Supreme Court  is remote.  The bill would allow, but not require, the Chief Justice to authorize photography, videography and broadcasting of Court proceedings.  And with the Justices themselves expressing discomfort with the idea, a change in policy seems unlikely.