Coalition asks Supreme Court to live stream

January 28, 2015 01:30

In a letter to U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, the Coalition for Court Transparency, of which RTDNA is a member, requested “that audio-visual coverage of oral arguments in the same-sex marriage cases be broadcast live, enabling the world to witness history as it happens.”
The Court recently agreed to hear arguments to address two key questions about the 14th Amendment: Whether states are required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and whether states must recognize licensed marriages of other states. The decision will have significant impact on the patchwork of laws around the country and will be of high interest to the public. In addition to the historical nature of the cases, the Coalition highlighted how this act of transparency could burnish the Court’s reputation.
“In our modern era, an institution’s legitimacy is often driven by the public’s perception of its openness and transparency,” the letter said. “When decisions are made in cases that provoke strong emotions, transparency allows the public to be assured that the process was fair and that the institution is functioning properly. Simply put: televising the oral arguments will ultimately strengthen the public’s perception of the Court by imbuing its result with greater legitimacy.”
“Recent polling shows three-quarters of Americans support televising Supreme Court proceedings,” said Alex Armstrong, spokesperson for the Coalition. “Oral arguments in the upcoming marriage cases will be historic, and the whole nation will be eager to follow along. There’s no better time to turn on the cameras.”

Read the full letter.
About the Coalition for Court Transparency:
The Coalition for Court Transparency is an alliance of national media and legal organizations who advocate for a more open and accountable U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts system. The coalition supports a number of pro-transparency policies at the court, including cameras in the courtroom, live audio of hearings and online financial disclosures. To learn more, visit or follow the coalition at @OpenSCOTUS.