Published On: Tue, Feb 3rd, 2015

Elena Kagan: Live Coverage of Supreme Court? Fuggedaboutit…

Elena Kagan

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has expressed opposition to proposals for live coverage of the court’s proceedings, saying cameras would interfere with a dynamic that works, although the court will explore ways of being more open to the public, a report said.

Kagan said she continues to have reservations about introducing cameras into Supreme Court oral arguments, something advocates and members of Congress have urged for years, and she herself supported in the past, The Hill said.

“I don’t think Congress is a great advertisement for this, ” she said during a conversation at the University of Chicago, the report said. “I don’t mean that in the way they work generally, but it used to be that Congress would do hearings without cameras, and I’ve got to say, I think that those hearings probably sounded a lot different than they do now.”

She said congressional debate used to be “more substantive” rather than consisting of members using “these kind of sound bite messages to the outer world.”

Kagan said cameras in the court could interfere with a system that works, although she understands the argument that citizens should be able to see how the court operates. She held that view when she was the solicitor general and even endorsed the idea during her confirmation hearing, but she has since reversed course and said it is something the court will continue to consider, The Hill said.

“I think this will not happen right now, ” she said. “I think that there are ways in which we can become more open to the public, and I think we’ll continue to explore those ways, and I don’t think that this is one of those kinds of, you know, ‘over my dead body’ issues.”


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