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Alito: From "we should do it" to a more cynical approach

All nine sitting justices have at some point in their careers expressed positive or at least neutral sentiments toward putting cameras in the Supreme Court to televise oral arguments and opinion announcements.

For whatever reason, the justices today balk at the question – or have changed their opinion outright. That includes Justice Alito.

Here are his own words on cameras in the court, changing over time:

2005 confirmation hearing: “We had a debate within our court about whether we would or should allow television cameras in our courtroom. I argued that we should do it […] The issue is a little different in the Supreme Court. It would be presumptuous for me to talk about it right now, particularly since at least one of the justices [Souter] have said that a television camera would make its way to the Supreme Court over his dead body. I will keep an open mind despite the decision I took in the Third Circuit.” January 11, 2006

2007: “If our arguments were on television, we’d face some very stiff competition because there is already a surfeit of programming for court aficionados.” October 19, 2007, Associated Press

Fix the Court believes that the justices – either of their own accord or compelled by Congress – should grant the media and the public greater access to oral arguments and opinion announcements through the live broadcast of those events.

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