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Breyer: From "in favor" to "in the middle"

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 Breyer.

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

1994 confirmation hearing: “I voted in favor in the judicial conference of experimenting with television in the courtroom. The results are being evaluated. In Massachusetts, television is in the courtroom. The Massachusetts judges I’ve spoken to seem generally satisfied. The results of that are being evaluated in the federal system.” July 12, 1994

2014: “Now, cameras in the courtroom? At this stage, I’d say it’s sort of in the middle. I mean, I’m not in the generation that’s grown up with it to the point, I actually can remember radio, you know? […] But that’ll change. And eventually people will be on the court who’ve grown up with nothing but that, and I believe it’ll change and probably they’ll come in. […] We are deciding something for 310 million people who are not in that courtroom.” January 14, 2014, Conversations on the Constitution, National Archives 

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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