LTE: Roberts and Ryan, Kindred Spirits
Fix the Court executive director Gabe Roth had the following letter to the editor in the Washington Post on June 26:
Regarding the June 23 PowerPost article “House Democrats stage sit-in to force votes on gun control”:
Whether or not one supported the House Democrats’ nearly 26-hour sit-in or the Supreme Court’s decision upholding affirmative action, modern technology can and should afford us first-person access to our democratic institutions at crucial times, no matter where in the country we live. But that did not happen this week.
Unfortunately, congressional rules required that C-SPAN cameras be shut off once the House adjourned Wednesday, even as dozens of Democrats remained crouched on the House floor, and the Supreme Court prohibits broadcast media from recording video or even live-streaming audio when the justices announce major decisions from the courtroom.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s (R-Wis.) decision to gavel out the House and effectively end the Democrats’ ability to broadcast their protest suggests the speaker may have found a kindred spirit in Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. For years, both have been adjudicating disputes between ideologues in their respective institutions and often finding themselves at odds with their own caucuses, not to mention with those on the left.
And yet, being the adult should not mean cutting off media access.
America is all grown up, the Information Age is here to stay, and these two men should not forbid the very feeds that would, more often than not, depict them as two of the few grown-ups about town.