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Should cameras be allowed in the Supreme Court?

March 26, 2014

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

In late February, a video of a courtroom was posted to YouTube. The video caused a ripple of an uproar over the next couple of days because it was taken in the Supreme Court chambers during oral arguments.

The video clip shows a protester who stood up and denounced the court’s Citizens United decision before security took him away. It is believed to be the first time that video of a Supreme Court proceeding has ever been recorded.

The Supreme Court prohibits all electronic devices inside the chambers. Reporters have limited access and can use only pen and paper in the chamber. Sketch artists are allowed to portray the public sessions. In 2010, the court began making audio recordings of all oral arguments heard by the court available free to the public on the court’s website.

Should the justices allow cameras?

In 2009, Sen. Arlen Specter tried to pass a bill to force the Supreme Court to allow television cameras during its open sessions, which anyone can attend.

The argument was made that courts are vital to our government and democracy and that government should be open for all to see to prevent corruption and misdoings. This idea comes from interpretations of the First Amendment that mandate that government operations should be open to the press and the public, unless security or privacy concerns exist.

Camera proponents argue that the Supreme Court makes decisions that affect us every day, from free speech rights in school to knowing your rights if arrested. Supporters of cameras say the oral arguments should be made in full view of the public.

All 50 states’ high courts allow some type of recording device inside the chambers, and a large percentage of federal courts allow television cameras, but the ruling judge has the final say so in determining whether specific cases should have cameras present. Proponents of cameras in the courtroom say that state high courts function fine with or without cameras.

The Supreme Court has a different view. In the 1965 case Estes v. Texas, the court said television coverage of the pretrial hearing, normally a closed event, prevented a fair trial and infringed on the defendant’s right to due process. The court cited concerns about the effect on jurors and the disruption by the large, intrusive camera equipment used at the time.

But in 1981, when TV equipment had become much smaller, the Supreme Court decided in Chandler v. Florida that cameras during a criminal trial did not infringe on the defendant’s Fourteen Amendment right to due process. The ruling allowed cameras, at the behest of the judge, if the cameras did not infringe on the rights of the accused.

Since Chandler v. Florida, the nation has seen a dramatic rise in the coverage of court cases. TV coverage of sensational criminal cases from O.J. Simpson to Jodi Arias has led some to argue that cameras in the Supreme Court chambers would lead to a media circus. Although the Supreme Courts only hears appeals, and there would be no testimony from witnesses or evidence introduced as in criminal trials.

The justices say that cameras would have a negative effect on the court process. Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy told Congress that the cameras would affect what the justices choose to say in court. “You think it won’t affect you, your questioning,” Justice Breyer said at a congressional hearing in March 2013. “The first time you see on prime-time television somebody taking a picture of you and really using it in a way that you think is completely unfair... in order to caricature [your position]... the first time you see that, you will watch a lot more carefully what you say.”

Justice Kennedy said that the cameras would add an “insidious dynamic” in the courtroom. Opponents say that lawyers – and perhaps even justices – would play to the TV audience and talk in sound bites and that selective coverage of oral arguments would offer a distorted view of the court.

What do you think?

Should the Supreme Court allow cameras in the court chambers? Is greater public access to the court’s proceedings important? Do you agree with the justices that TV coverage would distort the court’s work? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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Comments
9/22/2014
Murrieta
Raquell
Mr.Jabro/ Creekside High School
I believe that the Supreme Court should allow cameras in the court chambers. I believe that if it is a national case there should be cameras or at least recordings in the room so that people that are following the case can see what is going on in the court. I believe the publics access to the courts proceeding is important because if we have cameras in the court room the public will have access and will be able to see if the court did the case fairly or unconstitutionally. Lots of cases are done unfairly and since there are no cameras and there is no way to prove that happened. I do believe TV coverage however would distort the court case due to worrying about what is said or people worrying about their image on the TV.

9/19/2014
murrieta CA
bianca
mr. jabro/creekside
i believe that only audio recordings should be allowed, cameras make everything easier for the nosy people. People these days are very ignorant and will post everything on youtube when it isn't their business to tell. i do not think cameras should be allowed in the court room not even for television purposes. It only gets the victims into more trouble and a harder life for them in the future especially if they were in court for something so small like being accused of stealing a dollar or something.

9/17/2014
Charlottesville, VA
Lupe
Dr. Huneycutt/ MHS
I think whatever happens in the courtroom, should stay in the courtroom. There shouldn't be any cameras because that would just violate the people's privacy. They should continue only having people draw the court scene instead of videotaping.

9/8/2014
Murrieta CA
Miguel C.
Mr. Jabro / Creekside Highschool
I can go both ways with this question. I do think that we should have cameras in the court room because as we all know the supreme court and our government isn't always honest. Yet we somehow find out about it later, so it leaks out either way. But it can also be "invading privacy", which isn't always right, but as US citizens we're always under surveillance so it wouldn't be so bad to see what our superior's are doing.

8/26/2014
Murriata CA
Alec V.
Mr. Jabro / Creekside Highschool
I do believe that allowing cameras in the supreme court would cause more issues that it would be worth, even if cameras banned from the court their still is audio recordings and hand written accounts to insure that the court is just and so people may know what is going on

8/25/2014
temecula ca
Angel
Mr.Jabro Creekside highschool
the supreme court probably does not accept cameras or any other type of recording device in case of the court saying something thats against the rights of the people of the united states. so , they ban cameras so no evident of court corruption or andthing to incriminate the court is not recorded and charged against. this is my thoughts on this subject.

8/22/2014
murrieta ca
Corrine creech
Jabro / creekside high school
yes, the supreme court should let cameras inside the courtroom.Just so that there is evidence if the court was be unconstitutional and if they made a mistake . if there is no video you can correct the mistakes they have made. because everyone makes mistakes even the supreme court. so yes i believe cameras should be allowed

8/22/2014
Murrieta CA
Lily
Mr.
Yes,the supreme court should allow cameras in the court chambers. That way in case anything is misunderstood,wrong,or anything along those lines it is fixable. No a greater public access is not important,however it is important to document things and keep them on record in case ever needed again. Yes,TV coverage would distort the courts work.

6/13/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Ashley F.
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
In my opinion, the Supreme Court shouldn't allow cameras in the court chambers. Greater public access to the court's proceedings isn't really important. I agree with the justices that TV coverage would distort the court's work. Also, allowing cameras into the Supreme Court chamber would be invading the cases privacy.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Rabeea
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe they should allow cameras in the supreme court. It would make sure that nothing wrong is happening within the court. Also it could serve as evidence in the event that something wrong is said or done in the court. The people deserve the opportunity to know what is going on at all times.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg,PA
Shaydra
Mr. Hannah
i think they should put cameras in the court room because if they see something wrong they can have some evidence that it actually happened and no one is making anything up. Yes because everyone needs to know about it. Yes i do because they will have more work and complications to deal with.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Christian G
Me.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Yes cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court chamber because you can have video of the whole thing. Yes greater public access to the courts proceedings is important because the public can see what's happening too. Yes I do I fact agree with the justices that tv coverage would distort the courts work because people might be embarrassed about being on tv.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg/PA
Jason G
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I don't see why not, it could be useful like to train up and coming Supreme Court members. It could also be very interesting to a lot of people if it was a show kind of like Judge Judy or Judge Joe Brown. Also another way it could be useful is if they can use the camera to spot something useful in a listening of the court that can have fate on defendants or the person or persons suing

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg/PA
Natalie J
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg Jr. High
Cameras should not be allowed in the Supreme Court because its invading the privacy of the person who has the case. They need to have privacy in the court room. Just like the jurors can't talk about the case and the only way to know what happened in the court room was by the Stunographer or by the sketch artist in the court room. By taking pictures it's an invasion of privacy and should never happen.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Sierra T.
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I have mixed feelings on wheather cameras should be aloud in the court rooms. I agree that the cameras would distort the judges work. But at the same time we the people should be able to see these cases. Cameras in court rooms could possibly change judges original opinions on a case. Having camera's in court rooms could go any way. Personally though I have no side in which i wholeheartedly take.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Christian P
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I don't think cameras should be aloud in court because all it would do is cause arguments over the media. I also don't think cameras should be allowed is because it would be invading someone's personal space. People could also photoshop the pictures.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg,PA
JabareeM
Mr.Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
Yes so people can know whats happening better. Yes because it help let you know whats happening. Yes because it would make the judges have a harder time focusing on the job.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg,PA
JabareeM
Mr.Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
Yes so people can know whats happening better. Yes because it help let you know whats happening. Yes because it would make the judges have a harder time focusing on the job.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg,PA
Jeremiah G
Me.Hanna/stroudsburg JHS
Even though we have a lot of technology in our time period I think there should be no cameras in the Supreme Court it's know ones business except the people that's involved in it people outside the court lucky people draw pictures and record the judge speaking and stuff. I think if they have a t.v of what's going In the Supreme Court and it will distort what happing In the court room.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Caitlin P.
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Even with the many different types of technology this time period has, I do not believe that cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court chambers. It can cause many distractions and can be taken as an invasion of privacy in some aspects. Also, the pictures can be taken a wrong way. I think we should leave the court as it is now, without cameras and without an invasion on privacy.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
will s
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I don't think that there should be cameras in the court rooms because then the senators wouldn't be completely on task of what they need to do. They would be more worried about the public. That is why I don't believe camaras should be allowed in the court rooms.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Joseph D
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I think there should be cameras in the supreme court. I think this because you can rely upon cameras then you can with people. Cameras will record better than someone typing it.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Shayla
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Even though this time period has a lot of technology I believe that there shouldn't be cameras in the court rooms. I believe that a public audience is a good thing to have for such a thing so we can see the courts discussion. Also I agree with the justices that TV coverage will make the Supreme Court stray away from what they have to do

6/12/2014
Pa/SBURG
Daniel
Mr.hanna
I don't think that the Supreme Court should allow cameras in the court chamber because it will just give people another thing to put in the media or argue about. Yes because the public should know what goes on in its government but to an extent. Yes because if where ever there are camera crews and tv setups people stop look and it distracts them.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Riley
Mr. Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
Even though our generation is filled with technology I do not think cameras should be allowed in courts because it's distracting and pictures can be taken the wrong way which can be bad in different situations. In my opinion it would also be bad to allow court cases on telivision it is just an invasion of someone's privacy and will most likely cause a riot. Thinking about it in my opinion we should not change anything and we should keep it the same because they still let us know what's going on and people are filled in on information therefor nothing needs to change.

6/12/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Katelyn M.
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Cameras should not be allowed in the Supreme Court. We have just enough to keep us up-to-date on what's going on in court proceedings. I completely agree that TV would distort the court's work. They'd be too concerned over their public image (justices and the jury).

6/11/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Jacquelyn E.
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I don't think that camera's should be allowed in thr Supreme Court because of the publicity. If the ones at home were watching what was happening in the court room then they would go down there, and they would wait till that person came out to scream and judge them. The reason they shouldnt allow camera's is also because of how they could photo shop it or do something bad with the pictures. Pictures could be photo shopped of those who are being testified by putting something in their hands and making it look like their gonna hurt someone.

5/22/2014
TX
Kelsey
Montgomery
It makes sense to allow cameras in the Supreme Court. Our generation was born into the world of technology. Having cameras will wake up half the population by having it aired. It might get the public to decided before the jury has made a decision, but that is life. What is the difference of filming it than having a man sit there with a pen and paper ? all it does is put a name to the face.Sure the T.V. Network edits, dramatize it all. But the stations will have boundaries just like everyone else and access to certain cases and times.

4/21/2014
Irving/Texas
Yesenia
Bradley/Nimitz
I don't think the supreme court should be allowed to have cameras in the court chambers. Through the camera people can have a bad interpretation of a view or opinion, especially to those who are not well informed on what the situation is. The public should have access to the court's preceding but I don't think they should be in form of video coverage. I agree that the TV would probably distort the court's work. If the court decides a punishment for a crime but then see that the punishment would look harsh or would have a negative response to the public then it might intervene with what the proper punishment should be and therefore intervene with the work of the court.

4/21/2014
Irving/Texas
Jose L
Bradley/Nimitz
Although technology is very helpful and necessary in everyday life, I don’t it would be appropriate for it to be applied in this case. I strongly agree with the belief that the court room’s professionality will be tampered if the whole country would have access to this information. One it has been recorded and ,even worse, uploaded to the internet it is now available to a huge amount of people. Some of these people with insidious intentions with this information. It is much safer to keep this type of technology out of the Supreme court. Those who are really passionate about the case they can attend or listen to the recording. I don’t any problem with that. The greater public has the accessibility to the information if it pertains to them I believe is their responsibility to utilize the resources available.

4/20/2014
Irving/ Texas
Indya
Bradley/Nimitz
The introduction of cameras in the Supreme Court would change the atmosphere from tense legal discussion into a show. It would be a problem if we didnt have other sources of finfing out whats going on inside. We should be focused on the issues at hand in the Supreme Court rather than how to get a better view of the Supreme Court.

4/20/2014
Irving/Texas
Rajith I.
Bradley/Nimitz
For Congress there is C-SPAN, for the president every news outlet has a White House correspondent detailing the president’s every move, however why is the Supreme Court still shrouded in mystery? The reason is that the Supreme Court is a steadying hand to the two other tumultuous branches of government. Justices are appointed for life and do not have to directly please constituents. They do not have to follow a cycle of elections but rather have to follow the constitution. When you add cameras to the Supreme Court chamber you take away the judges ability to truthfully answer from their understanding of the constitution. Rather the Supreme Court justices have to answer to the public. Even though Supreme Court justices are public figures, they have never been public figures in the sense of a president or congressman. That is why most people can name the president or a congressman but not a Supreme Court justice. Televising Supreme Court proceedings will undoubtedly, either consciously or subconsciously, affect a justice’s decision making. That isn't what you want when deciding the constitutionality of something, you want a logical decision not a decision affected by outside sway. If critics are worried that there is no public oversight of the court they are wrong. With journalists reporting, artists sketching, and audio recordings the Supreme Court is adequately and openly covered for the public. Video recordings would only affect justices and their decision making; however, it would not bring anymore clarity to the public.

4/19/2014
Irving
Tracey
Bradley/Nimitz
I don’t believe the courts should allow cameras because if they were to be allowed in the courts and aired on TV it would just turn into another reality show. It wouldn’t be taken seriously by others. If people would really like to hear the court case they should be satisfied with the voice recordings, not a lot of people now a days care to be informed about all cases happening in the supreme court. TV can impact the decision of the supreme court. The media can always make up a story and turn it into what they want. Media is a great part in today’s society. An example that has happen before where the media has affected the decision of the people was the John F. Kennedy presidential election because it was the first time that people could actually see in color who was running and what they did.

4/18/2014
irving/texas
pablo m
bradley/nimitz
Cameras should not be allowed in supreme court chambers. We all want to know exactly what goes on and every part of the decision process the court goes through but is just not possible to turn the court into a media circus. Reporters have limited access to court because serious cases are handled in there, we still receive information about the court why disrupt it. TV broadcasting would only cause distraction and pressure to the court. I agree that TV coverage would distort the court's work in a negative way and cameras should not be allowed.

4/18/2014
Irving/Texas
Han Huynh
Bradley/Nimitz
Cameras should not be allowed in the Supreme Court. It will affect almost everybody in the hearing by making the people more cautious in what they say. This will result in insincere answers and not bring out the whole truth. Also, the cameras will also allow the media to have greater access to the content which allows them to create false and inaccurate articles of the matter. Besides, sketch artists provides very accurate results of the scene without the consequences. Regarding the public's access to the court's proceedings, it is not THAT important to allow cameras which will ruin the hearings.

4/18/2014
Irving/Texas
Monica F.
Bradley/Nimitz
I don't see why they shouldn't allow cameras during Supreme Court rulings, just because of the fact that they already have sketch artists and audio recordings that are posted so that the public can listen to them. I believe that it is important for the public to know what happens during court rulings, but I don't believe that they should be posted on television. They should just do what they do now with the recorders - post the latest videos online for the public to view them, if they wish to.

4/18/2014
Irving/Texas
Isabel
Bradley/Nimitz
The Supreme Court should not allow cameras in the court chambers because it will turn every trial case into a Hollywood show. If done so, the media will influence the opinions of the public to decide who is guilty or innocent when that decision is up to the judge of the court and the jury. Greater public access to the court's proceedings is not important at all. Sure a criminal was convicted of a horrendous crime, but is it really everyone's business? I agree with the justices that TV coverage would distort the court's work because that's what the media does. It conveys and twists facts for the public to form a biased opinion on the media's petty attempt to favor one side of the case.

4/18/2014
Irving/Texas
Pam
Bradley/Nimitz
The Supreme Court is correct in not allowing cameras in the court chambers. The public’s access to the court proceedings is important but it is mentioned that reporters are allowed paper and pen and recording devices are also allowed and the recordings are accessible by the public so that should already be enough. I completely agree with the justices about the TV cameras disrupting the the court’s work as the people who would be televised would most likely be greatly affected by, not only the large equipment, but also the fact that they will be on TV, where people can see and make judgments and criticisms, making it reasonable for them to watch what they say.

4/17/2014
Irving, TX
Josh A
Bradley/ Nimitz
The Supreme Court should not allow cameras in the court chambers. Yes, it is important for the public to know about the court proceedings, but the court case is not a TV show. It is a serious thing in which the judges decide on key cases that may change how we, the U.S citizens, live our lives. Furthermore, it draw uninvited criticism from the public and attention that is not needed. The media would likely distort the truth to make the case more suspenseful and thus create chaos. Therefor, cameras should never be allowed in a court room.

4/16/2014
Irving/ Texas
Victoria E.
Bradley/ Nimitz HS
Cameras in the supreme court will only create drama. I agree wholeheartedly with Justice Breyer when he said that the lawyers and defendants would watch more carefully what they say. This would cause those involved in the case to worry more about how the media portrays them rather than how they can best work to resolve the case. The media will, no doubt, exploit the video and use it for whatever angle they are trying to work. This would create unneeded pressure from the viewers who watch these media outlets. Pressure to hurry and get the case through the courts, or even pressure to convict without all the needed evidence. The public opinion carries a heavy weigh but the public is also very fickle. We have professional Justices for a purpose and I think we should let them do their jobs. They still have the oral arguments for those who are actually interested in the court proceedings.

4/15/2014
Irving/TX
Vivian
Bradley/Nimitz
The media already has been developed into a place where you want to get the best factual information because of how quick it reaches their audiences, but the media so far is what I think a booby trap for people to gossip more and degrade people on their wrong-doings. Providing cameras or any video footage in the Supreme Court chambers will just draw unnecessary, bad attention to the judicial system. Bringing more attention to court proceedings is not what should be viewed as a routine thing to do. If people want to find out more information about certain court cases, they would just have to keep up with other sources of information to do so. Displaying it through video draws additional factors of body language and possible misdoings people in the Supreme Court will show. I do agree that court coverage would just degrade the people of the Court's work.

4/14/2014
Irving/Texas
Lacie
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that there are pros and cons to having cameras during supreme court rulings and to not allowing cameras during supreme court rulings. Allowing cameras can be very beneficial to the American public. It allows citizens all over the nation to informed on important cases being discussed everyday. The topics that are discussed during these supreme court rulings, will most likely affect the American public, so in that case, I see nothing wrong in allowing these cameras. But, referring to what justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy have said, I do believe that allowing cameras can cause a lot of controversy. It can completely affect what the justices say in court, and can also alter the minds of the public. It can create bad reputations for the justices because of accusations and rumors. I do believe that it is important for the greater public to have access to these court rulings, but I also believe that the supreme court has a right to have a little bit of privacy. I mean everything can be written down anyways, so is it that big of a deal to also record them?

4/14/2014
Irving/Texas
Jessi
Bradley/Nimitz
The situation is not that the court should or should not ALLOW cameras, it’s that they are unnecessary. Cases are already audio recorded but adding cameras would add an excessive pressure for the courtroom. The Supreme Court is already debating the toughest cases of the country, and the distractions attached to television cameras could cause significant delay in closing cases. Often, polarized opinions form and make decisions all the more difficult. Not to mention added media coverage would increase said polarization. At most, they could compromise to have live audio broadcasts to please public curiosity but limit direct access to courtroom events.

4/9/2014
Irving/Texas
Erin D
Bradley/Nimitz
There are somethings that just aren’t right for the Television. I can see why it would be desired, to see how our government works and the decisions that they make. But, I can see the blatant problem. Reality TV shows tend to start off pure, but slowly as seasons push on they are corrupted by the general public. Of course this is because they have to keep viewers, more eyes equals more money and larger opportunities. Placing cameras in the Supreme Court would, unfortunately, have a similar effect. Justices would have to watch what they say, or they would get “bad reviews” and maybe even hate mail, especially when they have to deal with very controversial cases. I feel soon they would have to create a camera persona and would generally alter their opinions based solely on what the public wants to hear. Cameras in the Supreme Court could cause some major public uproar, which is something that would damage the legitimacy of their interpretations of our entire foundation.

4/8/2014
Irving/ Texas
Dania Vanessa
Bradley/ Nimitz
Since the Supreme Court is already sound recording their proceedings, I do think that they should also allow cameras. There are many things that are decided on during these proceedings that do affect the public. Even if the decisions only involve minor changes, like the way crops are collected or the way a law is enforce, many more decisions have been made that have established the public’s rights. It is true that some cases, outside the Supreme court, have created a media frenzy but that does not mean that every supreme case will create a disturbance. If the case will create an uproar, it will create one with or without a video, so a TV coverage would not distort the court’s work.

4/8/2014
Irving/Texas
Adam
Bradley/Nimitz
My opinion is cameras should be allowed in the supreme court. By allowing cameras in the Supreme Court, it will improve the trial process and the Lawyers will work very efficiently and well mannered knowing that the public is watching. It should be noted that in a democratic society , the people have the right to access to the courts. The coverage of the trials could also provide an educational experience to aspiring Lawyers and anyone interested in Supreme Court cases. As of now, the world is watching or keeping track of the Oscar Pistorius trial, and we know what's going on in the trial because of the media and cameras. People like Nancy Grace and Dan Abrams explaining their point of views on the trial and providing us better understanding to what is happening to the beloved Olympian.

4/8/2014
Irving/TX
Anh
Bradley/Nimitz
I think it’s best if they don’t allow cameras in the court room. Although I agree that the people have a right to know what is behind the closed doors, but if such an important case and situation is uploaded onto a site like Youtube where they have viral videos of Cats playing, it’s like making the situation into a light topic. Now if it were to be put up on a national site where it’s accessible to the general public through a system where you must sign up and you are serious about what you may be watching then that’s great. Another reason as to why there shouldn’t be cameras in the courtroom is that, sometimes it’s best not to tell the general public what’s going on until it’s official before they protest and riot like crazy over every little thing. I do believe that the TV coverage can and would distort the court’s work due to a person’s natural instinct to want to look it. It’s a distraction where they would know that the people who watch would judge them upon their every move.

4/8/2014
Irving/TX
Sarah L
Bradley/Nimitz High School
Cameras should definitely be allowed inside the Supreme Court chambers. As this article written by Jeremy Quattlebaum states, “...the Supreme Court makes decisions that affect us every day, from free speech rights in school to knowing your rights if arrested.” Personally, hearing other’s arguments and beliefs help me to form my own opinions and arguments. Seeing this current issues debated (and decisions made) can be very helpful to the American public become more aware of current topics and debates. However, we must be careful when getting the media involved. We all have seen how biased and twisted the media can be when delivering news. Therefore, I believe court coverage should not be released until after a decision has been made. Besides, being a participant of Teen Court, we are always told we cannot discuss the court’s information. We should treat the Supreme Court’s decision making with respect and allow them time to decide and debate without having to worry about media raising a horde of angry Americans during the court hearing.

4/7/2014
Irving/Teaxs
Joanielee
Bradley/Nimitz High School
Court rooms should allow cameras. With the times changing and media advancing we almost have no choice. Understandably some may be bound to tradition, but the Supreme Court cases are open to the public. Being in Texas, we don’t get to see the court cases step by step and being able to may influence our decision on certain issues and even government itself; it would help keep us informed and aware. Yes, media is notorious for distorting facts and twisting scenarios but if it was live coverage, there wouldn’t be enough time, with the speed of media today, to change any words or actions if the camera was directly wired to a transmitter that broadcasted or live streamed rather.

4/7/2014
Sidney/MT
Megan
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The issue at hand is whether the Supreme Court should allow cameras in the courtroom or not. I believe the Supreme Court should allow cameras to record in the courtroom. The article says that in 2010, the courts began making audio recordings of all oral arguments available for the public. I don't see much difference between an audio recording and a video recording, because with both the audience knows who is speaking and exactly what is being said. As Ariana stated in her issue, the First Amendment gives the people the right to have the government open to the press and the public. She disagrees and thinks cameras shouldn't be allowed, but I don't think cameras in the Supreme Court would cause a media circus. I don't think the justices would be effected by the cameras because what they are saying is already open to the public, and they are already subjective to the media. If the oral arguments on an audio recording doesn't effect the Justices decisions and actions, then putting a face to the words shouldn't effect the work either.

4/7/2014
Irving/TX
Evila
Bradley/Nimitz
The people have a right to know what goes on in the Supreme Court. The decisions made can drastically change the laws by which we live. Cases such as Brown v Board of Education and Roe v Wade sparked controversy and changed not only the law but also society. I believe cameras should be allowed inside the Court. The people have a right to know what goes on behind closed doors. The first amendment guarantees the freedom of the press. However, the recordings should not be released until after the court has reached a verdict, because the media would distort the truth and attempt to sensationalize the facts. The defendant and the accuser would see themselves vilified or even glorified. The media would create a circus,and it would lead to chaos. The O.J. Simpson case is but a lone example. The court could not longer give an unbiased decision.The media would put pressure on the justices to lean one way or the other. The public has a right to know, but the public doesn't have a right to infringe on other people’s fifth amendment right.

4/7/2014
Irving/Texas
Berenizes
Bradley/Nimitz
Everything is recorded and easily available to the public in this day in age. However, that isn't always a good thing. Our government has functioned to the best of its ability this far without our opinions, I think it will continue to manage. The American people argue that by having the opportunity to have cameras in the Supreme Court, this would help keep the Supreme Court in check. I believe that by having cameras in the courtroom it would be more of a bother than a helpful tool. By having this sort of privacy, the Supreme Court can make decisions based on what they believe is most beneficial to the states and not what is most beneficial to third parties. Honestly, there isn't a super important reason to have cameras in the Supreme Court therefore they shouldn't be allowed.

4/7/2014
Irving/ TX
Kayla
Helen Bradley/ Nimitz High School
The Supreme Court should not allow cameras in the court chamber and should just continue to function the way it has for the past years. While I do believe the public should have access to the court's proceedings, I believe adding cameras would be too much. People can already take tape reporters and people can take notes and write and sketch. Yes, I agree that TV coverage would distort the court's work. The people in the court chambers should not be victimized by being on TV and having to endure all the criticism that comes with it. They should be comfortable to be able to make decisions based on what is right.

4/6/2014
Irving,Texas
Kimberly
Bradley/Nimitz
The public has a right to know what the Supreme Court is doing and thats why the public can go and see the cases in person or listen to the recordings. The cases do not need to be taped and turned into a reality TV show. The American public does not need a Supreme Court version of Judge Judy. If people really want to know what is going on in the cases they have other ways to access the information.

4/5/2014
Irving,Texas
Vanessa Garcia
Bradley/Nimitz High School
I believe cameras should be allowed in Supreme Court because citizens should have the right to know what is going on with our government. With that being said there is also a few negative effects concerning this action being taken. For example, a lot of the decisions being made could be affected by the public since there will be more media and views on the subjects being discussed there will also be more talk and opinions being put out. This will in return, be pushed on to people in the court making decisions and they will feel pressure to accommodate to the public. There is good and bad in this action that could be taken, but once again, the citizens should have the right to know how our government is being run.

4/4/2014
Sidney/Montana
Cash
Faulhaber/Sideny
The issue here is does the Supreme Court have a compelling interest to keep camera's out of the court room. As stated in a previous blog, some of you believe that the Supreme Court should allow camera in the court room. I believe however, that the introduction of cameras would turn the Court from a tense legal discussion into a performance. Attorneys will begin to speak in sound bytes and slogans, as the article stated. What matters is that issues are framed and addressed properly in the court. I'd agree this was a problem if we didn't have the ability to listen and to read what happens in the court.

4/4/2014
Sidney/Montana
Rietta
Faulhaber/Sidney
The issue of this article is whether or not the Supreme Court should allow cameras in the court chambers. I don't think that the Supreme Court should allow cameras in the court chambers. I agree with the article, I think that if they did allow cameras to be in the court chambers that the justices and lawyers would play to the TV audience and talk in sound bites and that selective coverage of oral arguments would offer a distorted view of the court. I think that allowing TV coverage would be distracting to the justices and other people in the case. Also, I think that if cameras were allowed in the court it would put a restriction on what the justices had to say. I also agree with the article because I believe that allowing this could lead to a media circus. I think that it should be up to the judges discretion however. I agree with Milton, if you want to know what happens so badly either go and watch or read about it online or in the newspaper. I feel that overall it would be better for everyone if the cameras were not allowed in the court chambers.

4/4/2014
Sidney/Montana
John Elmore
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The issue at hand is whether or not television cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court. I believe that cameras should be allowed into the courtroom. In the article I did not believe that Justice Breyer's and Justice Kennedy's worries were not serious enough to alienate the American people. The way the court is set up today, we already have audio recordings that can be listened to through websites such as Oyez.org. I believe that the American government should have a level of transparency to go along with it. I agree with Ty'Mira's blog which states that greater public access is important. I think that the American people already do not have a large amount of knowledge on court cases and the possibility of televising these cases may increase public knowledge and opinions on cases that could affect our lives.

4/4/2014
Sidney/Montana
Taylor Utgaard
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The issue in this case is the fourteenth amendments due process clause. People who want to have cameras in the Supreme Court would say that this is necessary to keep a check on the Supreme Court by keeping them honest. I disagree, i believe that putting cameras in the Supreme court is not going to help but put more of a burden on the Justices and the attorneys. As Justice Breyer said in the article people will use the video or pictures to use it unfairly against them in order to try and persuade their position. The Justices do not need the pressure of the media trying to influence their position on an important case. The Justices need to make clear decisions that wont be hindered by the media or others. I would have to disagree with Shiva though, i think that government students can learn just as much from what people write down with a paper and pen and sketches. I do not believe that there is a true compelling reason for us to put cameras in the Supreme Court.

4/4/2014
Sidney,MT
Lexie B
faulhaber/Sidney High School
The issue discussed in this article is whether cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court chambers. I believe cameras should not be allowed in the court chambers. I think having cameras in the court chambers would cause a distraction for the judges and everyone else. I agree with Ruth, it may become a big distraction as everyone tries to protect their image. Everyone would start playing to the audience and possibly only a selective coverage would be offered on the argument. People are already given the opportunity to listen to the arguments made on the court's website for free, or even read them in the newspaper. I agree people have a right to know what goes on in the court chambers, but that is why we have reporters go in with a pen and notepad or have recordings offered on their website. Having cameras in the court chambers will cause a media circus, just like what happened after Chandler v. Florida.

4/4/2014
Sidney/MT
Ariana
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The issue at hand is whether the Supreme Court, which prohibits all electronic devices inside the chambers, should allow for camera coverage while the court is in session. This issue leads to whether the people have a right by the 1st Amendment to have a government open to the press and public, or whether this would be detrimental to the court process, leading to a media circus. As for now, I do not think the Supreme Court should allow cameras in the court chambers. While public access to court proceedings is important, the media, and the people, are offered many opportunities to do so. For example, sketch artists portray public sessions, and audio recordings are available to the public. Reporters are allowed, but limited to paper and pen. Having cameras in the court room, like Justices Stephen Breyer and Antony Kennedy said, would affect what the justices choose to say in court. Prime-time television could use these televised events in a distorted manner that would be detrimental for both the court and the public. Sarah V says, "Cameras should not be used as a way to live stream a court case, because doing so could hinder the trial from being completely fair..." Although Sarah believes televisions should be used in the Supreme Court I agree with this part of her statement. We already have a high amount of access to what goes on during a Super Court's session. Our 1st Amendment rights are not being harmed, simply limited. In this case, it is better to be cautious than hurt the process of the Supreme Court but allowing for full television coverage.

4/4/2014
Sidney MT
Michael
Mr. Faulhaber SHS
Since the dawn of time, mankind has been infatuated with the idea of preserving memories. From cave paintings to 1080p video formats, the process of recording events has grown in our time on this planet. So the idea would be that since it's been around that it can be allowed just about in any place, right? Well, according to the Supreme Court, it is not allowed everywhere, namely within the Supreme Courtroom. As stated within the article, the allowance of cameras within the room violates an individual's 14th Amendment right of due process. Some might not see the reason, but it's not that bleak. By allowing cameras to record the case, the general public can form an opinion about the person on trial and protest against them. If the courts "get the decision wrong," then the people could propose a protest against that. We've seen the Westboro Baptist Church protesting a number of things that were private, so why should the Supreme Court allow cameras in the courtroom and ultimately violate the privacy of the trial? That's the issue in this article honestly. But on the other hand, the judicial branch is a very important part of our government, and the people should know what happens in the Supreme Court chamber when cases occur. As Michael from Bradley/Nimitz High School had said, "As cit[i]zens, I believe we should have right to see and know what is going on or what is about to go on in our country ahead of time, so we can adjust!" Not only in the Supreme Court, but also in minor courts. Last thing that should be mentioned is the internet. The article had said that the video was uploaded onto YouTube. Books, paintings and photographs can be destroyed, damaged, and lost in time, but the internet if forever. I feel that the Supreme Court has it right by not allowing video recordings in the Supreme Court. Although the videos can be altered, there is still an original work. If consent was not given, then recording should not happen.

4/4/2014
Sidney Montana
Colton
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
Cameras Should not be allowed in the Supreme Court of The United States. What we are discussing here is whether or not to allow cameras in the court room of the Supreme Court. As the article stated the justices believe that the cameras would have a negative effect on the court room. I believe that cameras would be manly used to portray a hearing in someones favor, or used in someones favor. Supreme Court justices are meant to be isolated from the public view, as to not distort their interpretation of the Constitution. Having their face plastered on the TV could cause public pressure upon the justices. As said earlier by Milton of Irving, Texas if you really want to know what happened in the court room there are plenty of other ways to find out. Cameras should continue to be not allowed in the court room.

4/4/2014
Sidney, MT
Tresha Sanders
Sidney High School
The issue in the article is whether or not cameras should be allowed in Supreme Court sessions. From what I've read in this article, I believe that Supreme Court sessions should continue without cameras. I understand that this is a democracy but I don't think we can trust the justices and arguing sides of the cases to act the same as without cameras. Bringing cameras into the courtroom creates the possibility of people trying to perform for the crowd or change what they say for the sake of the audience. If we expect the justices to do their job as best they can, why would we insist on bring in extremely distracting cameramen and their equipment that might effect how a justice carries out their duties. Justice Kennedy himself said that the cameras would add an "insidious dynamic" in the courtroom. I agree with Shiva that the nation should know what goes on but I don't believe that cameras are a necessary way of achieving that. As the article mentioned, the press takes not with pen and paper and sketch artists draw up whatever happens. People can even listen to audio recordings of the oral arguments. In a perfect world, we could videotape all goings-on taking place in the Supreme Court, but in this world such a distraction might effect the justices ability to make a fair decision.

4/4/2014
Sidney/MT
Tori
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney HS
The issue here is whether or not cameras should be allowed in Supreme Court hearings. The Supreme Court currently prohibits all electronic devices, as stated in the article, but all 50 states' high courts allow some type of recording device inside the chambers, and a large percentage of federal courts allow television cameras. I do not think cameras should be allowed in Supreme Court chambers. I can see that if they were to allow cameras, they would have to allow cameras for virtually every news station, or else that would be discrimination. That would basically lead to a kind of paparazzi-like Court system. I understand that the public has some sort of a "right to know," according to Shiva and Carmen, based on interpretations of the First Amendment. However, the oral arguments are sufficient in providing trial coverage. Yet I disagree with the justices that TV coverage would distort the court's work. Their oral arguments are recorded, and does that affect what they say? I don't believe it should. The justices should be able to handle their job professionally without fear of the media. In regards to Justice Breyer's comment in the article, you signed up for a position with the federal government. I'd get used to people making a caricature of you.

4/4/2014
Sidney/MT/
Dominique
Mr Faulhaber/SHS
I believe cameras should not be allowed in the Supreme Court. With cameras being the the Court room as the article states in 1965 the case Esteves v Texax prevented a fair trial. In the article it states cameras would infringe on the defendent's right to due process. Kennedy says that the lawyers, and even judges may play to the TV audience and create a media circus frenzy. I agree with Ruth of Irving Texas, when she says that the cameras would cause a distraction and can change the outcome of the case. I also believe with the opinions presented within the article. Even though the decisions of the Supreme Court widely effect all of the people of the nation, it just does not seem like cameras or recording devices will help anyone. They create an unfair advantage, or even hurt the judges, or lawyers. I do not think cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court of the United States.

4/4/2014
Sidney Montana
Erin
Mr. Faulhaber - Sidney High School
The issue of this article is whether or not cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court. Although cameras are used in small courts, the importance of this court is much greater and could be affected by cameras much more. As we have already seen with the small video leak, allowing cameras in the Supreme Court will do nothing but cause problems. Cameras should not be allowed in the court room. As stated in the article by Justice Breyer, "You think it won't affect you, your questioning." But it does. Media changes how people act, and can be used innapropriately. Although ruled in 1981 in Chandler v. Florida saying that cameras don't infringe on a defendant's 14th Amendment rights, it causes an unnessary disturbance and has the potentials to affect others in the court room. As Ruth from Irving, TX stated in an earlier post, "The public has enough access to the cases." Adding these cameras will do nothing but cause a burden.

4/4/2014
Sidney/MT
Lexi
Mr. Faulhaber/SHS
The issue of this case is whether or not cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court. The Fourteen Amendment gives us due process of the law. In Chandler v Florida, the Court ruled that the cameras did not infringe on our due process. In the OJ trial, it was exciting for people to watch, but the Supreme Court cases are conducted differently. I believe that cameras should not be allowed in the Supreme Court. From a justice's standpoint, it would affect how I would conduct myself in front of a camera. Justice Kennedy had said, "the cameras would affect what the justices choose to say in court." I agree with Carmen Martinez that we as a nation should know what goes on in the courtroom, but I disagree that cameras should be there. I think the decision is what most people are looking for, so the cameras wouldn't assist in giving the people what they want.

4/4/2014
Sidney/MT
Colin
Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The issue of this blog is whether cameras should be allowed in the Court room or not. I do not believe that cameras should be allowed because "selective coverage of oral arguments would offer a distorted view of the court." This also puts a burden on judges and attorneys. I feel that in some ways cameras in the court room could offer benefits, but the negatives out way the positives. In cases such as O. J. Simpson the media could be used to cause an uproar and may even lead to riots. I disagree with Shiva that the only downside is that the judges may become more self conscious. There are many downsides to allowing cameras. Even though they allow audio, being on videoed live is different. I don't believe that cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court.

4/4/2014
Sidney/MT
Nicole Moore
Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The issue at hand is whether or not having cameras in the Supreme Court prevents people from obtaining knowledge of governmental proceedings, the 1st amendment right to speech, and if camera usage blocks 14th amendment due process rights. I do not believe that having cameras restricts people from knowing what is happening with government. As noted, "all 50 states' high courts allow some type of recording device inside the chambers". There is a way to hear what is going on, so citizens are still informed and first amendment rights are not being blocked. Additionally it should be assumed that meeting minutes are being taken and recorded because it is a formal setting. I do not believe cameras should be allowed because it will create more competition among news broadcast companies trying to break the stories. Often times I feel voice recordings and supreme court judges' opinions are released awhile after the case to make sure the points and views are correctly portrayed to limit upset and confusion. If there was an immediate release of supreme court rulings, I feel it would lead to more upsets and possible revolts. I also feel it limits a persons honesty in a criminal trial because they would be worried how they appear. It's a tough call on criminal trials because it doesn't limit the due process, it just makes everyone else aware of what is going on. I don't think agree with Shiva, and I feel that reading or listening to Supreme court cases is an efficient way to keep citizens informed and for students to learn.

4/4/2014
Sidney/MT
Reanna Peterson
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The issue of this Speak Out blog is whether or not cameras should be allowed in the United States Supreme Court which would allow the public to watch proceedings in the courthouse. Proponents in favor of the allowance of cameras would argue that it is important for citizens to see what is going on in their judicial branch of government for democracy purposes and the right to information. People opposed to cameras in the Supreme Court explain the dangers of a media crisis and are satisfied with the decision in the case of Estes v. Texas, as stated in the article, that established that television coverage of a closed event infringes on the defendant's right to due process. I personally, agree with Shiva from Irving, Texas. I believe that cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court. As Americans, we have the resources to watch many things that go on in Congress and dealings with the executive branch that affect our nation. Issues brought up in the Supreme Court may directly affect American citizens and for that reason, we should be able to watch what is going on and being said. We have the right to know and watch the personalities of the people in our legislative and executive branches. The judicial should be no exception.

4/4/2014
Sidney,MT
Juan Aguilar
Mr.Faulhaber
The issue presented in this case is whether or not cameras should be allowed in the US Supreme Court. Shiva says that cameras should be allowed in the court room. With some good points that the rulings from the Supreme Court affects people everyday, which is also stated in the article. I believe they should be allowed in the Supreme Court. I believe they should be allowed because they already have voice recordings of what the justices are saying so if somebody wanted to go attack a justice on what they say they already can off the voice recordings. Also in the article it says Justice Breyer says that seeing somebody on tv and using what you said in a completely unfair way will make you watch what you say in the court. I believe that is wrong though because reports are already there listening and then it is already voice recorded so they could still go on tv and use what you said against you. This is why i believe camera's should be allowed in the Supreme Court.

4/4/2014
Irving/Texas
Shiva
Bradley/Nimitz
Cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court. We have a right to know what does on inside the courtroom, especially the Supreme Court as it effects the whole nation. This will also prove to be a great educational tool as now government students can see what exactly goes on in a Supreme Court case. This does not have a downside other than the simple fact that they may be more self conscious about being on camera, but it shouldn't be to bad as they already record the audio.

4/3/2014
Irving/TX
Carmen Martinez
Bradley/Nimitz High School
I'm all for cameras in the Supreme Court, we as a nation have a right to know what goes on inside the courtroom. I do believe greater public access to the court is important. Because we may already receive some info from, online resources, magazines, newspapers and so on, but its not always detailed the way it took place. Although I may agree with cameras inside the chambers I do agree with them conflicting with the cases, as well as the members in the court, what if the cameras make them act more harsh or less harsh against their cases. But i still believe we as the public deserve to know what goes on, witnessing it on TV rather than reading an article.

4/2/2014
Irving/TX
Sarah V
Bradley/Nimitz
Cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court, but should not be used as a way to live stream a court case, because doing so could hinder the trial from being completely fair, since more opinions could get involved. Greater public access to court's proceedings is very important, but it would be best if the public was given access to the proceeding once the case had closed. I do agree with the justices in that TV coverage would distort the court's work, since it would indirectly add more people to the courtroom, which could be seen as a distraction to the court. Cameras could be useful, but for the time being, the ban on cameras in the Supreme Court has kept the Court efficient.

4/2/2014
Irving/Texas
Ty'Mira
Bradley/Nimitz
Supreme court should allow cameras in the court chambers for the simple fact that,we the people would like to see what is going on in our world. Greater public access is important because we want to give our opinions on the things that happen in the chambers, although our opinion would not matter, voicing it can probably help. TV coverage would not distort the court's work. Members in the chamber will forget the camera is there. The only thing it would hinder is their reputation.

4/2/2014
Irving/Texas
Kelsea
Bradley/Nimitz HS
I believe that the Supreme Court should allow camera’s inside its walls. The American public deserves to know what goes on inside their government, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people,” as stated by the Declaration of Independence should be respected in this matter. If the government is for the people, shouldn’t people know what decisions are being made for them behind closed doors? The answer, in my opinion, is yes. The counterargument in this situation states that things will not operate truly as they would without the cameras. I don’t believe that to be so. I think that congressmen would act the same after the big uproar of the cameras was established and they got used to them as they continued their jobs as congressmen. People need to know what goes on in order to know what affects them. I think that some things should be kept from the public for the greater good of the people, but secrets need to be exploited. The American people, with everything we’ve been through, deserve at least to know what’s going on in the works of it all.

4/2/2014
Irving/Texas
Michael
Bradley/Nimitz
Yes, the supreme court should alow cameras in the court chambers. As citzens, I believe we should have right to see and know what is going on or what is about to go on in our country ahead of time, so we can adjust! I don't believe the cameras will affect the debaters, because they are very intelligent trained professionals and most of them are lawyers.

4/1/2014
Irving/Tx
Ruth
Bradley/Nimitz
The supreme court should not allow cameras in the court chambers.The public has enough access to the cases there are articles online in magazines,and newspapers.Allowing cameras to the cases may be a great distraction everyone is always trying to protect their image especially on cameras and if cameras are allowed that might just change the outcome of the cases.It is better to keep things the way they are and leave the cameras out of court.

3/29/2014
Irving/Texas
Milton
Bradley/Nimitz
NO, the Supreme Court should not allowed cameras in the court chambers. If you want to know what happens so bad then read it on the newspapers ( reading is good). And greater public access is not important, articles about that court case can tell you the same thing you would of seen on camera. And yes, TV coverage, will distort the court's work because it will be distracting. Plus if somebody wants to know really bad what happens in that court case then they should just go and see for themselves otherwise just read an article about it. But a simple solution is that both the defendants and prosecutors decide if they want to be recorded and televised.

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