Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Thursday she doesn’t support having cameras inside the Supreme Court, saying she fears they would distort the justices’ behavior and hurt the court’s role in government.
“Cameras change the institution and education is not unimportant, but it’s not the answer for ensuring that there is actually a discussion going on that can be looked at by others in writing,” said Justice Sotomayor, speaking at Democracy at a Crossroads, a civics education conference.
Some federal courts do allow cameras to video their proceedings, and some courts even broadcast their own live web streams of oral arguments. But the high court has refused, instead releasing transcripts the day of arguments and audio at the end of each week.
Some members of Congress have pushed for a change, introducing legislation to broadcast court business. But the justices have balked.
Justice Sotomayor said when C-SPAN cameras began to broadcast congressional action, it affected the way members of Congress engaged with one another.
She said some justices might play to the cameras, while others might not ask as many questions during the oral arguments.
“Is it worth the intrusion on the process?” she said. “I don’t think it is worth it.”