Daily Poll

03.28.12

Readers Support Greater Supreme Court Transparency

Today we asked, "Should The Supreme Court Allow Live Broadcasts of its Hearings?" The results were as follows:

Yes: 64%
No: 21%
And video: 14%
Ambivalent: 1%

With many citing the desire for greater transparency, a majority wanted to allow live broadcasts of Supreme Court hearings. Many believed that greater transparency in the Court would be a boon for the democratic process:

Paul S. Can't believe in this day and age that we can still ask this question. No democratic institution should be anything but free, open and accessible all the time, especially the one created to protect our freedoms and constitution.

However the question didn't specifically address what kind of broadcasts these would be. For those on the fence, there could be room for consensus on broadcasts that didn't overly dramatize the proceedings:

rob654: I don't think it should be aired - as I don't want people acting for the TV and for their next career on TV.

But, maybe a live radio broadcast?

However, transparency and good government are not always synonymous. The Supreme Court exists to interpret with a greater degree of circumspection the laws the legislature passes. A greater "transparency" could easily backfire, doing greater harm than help to democracy:

Murray A. No and no.

The main reason everything is now done behind closed doors in Congress rather than debating on the floor is ... the C-Span cameras.