Cam­eras in the court

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

Pres­i­dent Trump’s pos­si­bly un­con­sti­tu­tional ban on the en­try of peo­ple from seven pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim coun­tries into this na­tion is likely headed for the Supreme Court. As the Feb. 8 ed­i­to­rial “Jus­tice in full view” pointed out, thanks to tech­nol­ogy, any mem­ber of the Amer­i­can pub­lic could wit­ness the oral ar­gu­ments in Dis­trict Court Judge James L. Ro­bart’s court and lis­ten to the ar­gu­ments in the U.S. Court of Ap­peals for the 9th Cir­cuit.

When this case al­most cer­tainly comes be­fore the Supreme Court, per­haps as few as 50 mem­bers of the gen­eral pub­lic will have the priv­i­lege of view­ing these im­mensely con­se­quen­tial de­lib­er­a­tions. Surely the re­al­ity-star-turned-pres­i­dent, whose ob­ses­sion with ratings is well-known, would sup­port live broad­cast of Supreme Court pro­ceed­ings. Our na­tion’s high­est court is not some mys­ti­cal priest­hood that can op­er­ate out­side of the pub­lic view. De­spite what some might say, cam­eras wouldn’t di­min­ish the court to a “Judge Judy” episode. But they would bring ac­count­abil­ity and trans­parency to the ju­di­cial branch, some­thing the pub­lic over­whelm­ingly sup­ports. That’s why I’ve rein­tro­duced bi­par­ti­san leg­is­la­tion with Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) that would di­rect the Supreme Court to al­low tele­vi­sion cov­er­age of all open ses­sions un­less a ma­jor­ity of jus­tices agrees that do­ing so would vi­o­late due-process rights. It’s time we put cam­eras in the court. Ger­ald E. Con­nolly, Wash­ing­ton The writer, a Demo­crat, rep­re­sents Vir­ginia’s 11th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict in the U.S. House.

If the courts have a chance of re­main­ing the churches of our sec­u­lar civic re­li­gion, lawyers and judges should not be put in the po­si­tion of hav­ing to worry about or — sadly, more likely — seek out be­ing made into a “meme.” James L. Johnsen, Ar­ling­ton

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.