Statement from FTC’s Gabe Roth on today’s House subcommittee hearing at which Justices Alito and Kagan testified about their budget and discussed several pro-transparency “fixes,” including broadcast access, which they sadly did not endorse:
It’s a bit disingenuous for Justices Alito and Kagan to state with poker faces, in front of several tiny video cameras and a dais full of attorneys, that cameras in their courtroom would somehow impact the tone of their hearings, especially since concerns over grandstanding haven’t proven true in other appeals courts that do allow video.
If it’s so important, as Kagan said today, for the public ‘to see an institution at work’ during contentious times, then unobtrusive cameras filming the work of public servants – whom we know won’t use C-SPAN footage in campaign ads – would do wonders to correct the American people’s misconceptions of our nation’s top court.
Key Justice Kagan quote: “The chief justice is studying the question of whether to have a code of judicial conduct that is applicable only to the United States Supreme Court. That’s something we have not discussed as a conference yet, and has pros and cons I’m sure, but it’s something that’s being thought very seriously about.”
Justices Alito and Kagan testify before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the court’s FY20 budget: