Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said the Supreme Court should make the decision on whether to incorporate cameras in the courtroom at Wednesday’s confirmation hearing.
Sasse argued that the legislative branch should not make decisions for the judicial branch, then said his colleagues support cameras in order to have transparency. He further said while transparency is a “virtue,” the lack of cameras can lead Americans to realize the negative effects film can have.
“A huge part of why this institution doesn’t work well is because we have cameras everywhere,” Sasse said. “Cameras change human behavior, we know this…I think we should recognize that the jackassery we often see around here is partly because of people mugging for short-term camera opportunities.”
“And it is definitely a second, and third, fourth-order effect that the Court should think through before it has advocates in there who are not only trying to persuade you nine Justices but also trying to get on cable that night or create a viral video,” he continued. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Disgusting Attacks On Her Faith’: Sasse Condemns ‘Anti-Catholic’ Bigotry’ Against Amy Coney Barrett)
He said the Court does not resort to congressional “bullying” to place cameras in the courtroom. He also argued there are other methods to display transparency in the hearings that include audio recordings, and pen and pad.
Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, both the current chairmen of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation titled, “Cameras Courtroom Act,” in March 2021 that intended to place cameras inside the Supreme Court.
“It’s time to put cameras in the Supreme Court so Americans can see deliberations and rulings on cases which will affect them for generations to come,” Durbin said. “This bipartisan bill shines a light into the Judicial Branch of government so more than just a few hundred lucky Americans can watch proceedings in the Court’s historic halls.”