Who Got to Sotomayor?

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said during her 2009 Senate confirmation hearing that she favored courtroom camera coverage and that she had had positive experiences with cameras, which she would convey to her fellow jurists.

That was then.

Recently, she was singing a different tune, saying allowing camera coverage of Supreme Court proceedings could be “misleading” and implying that the justices already probe all aspects of every argument and didn’t need to be second-guessed. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/02/sonia-sotomayor-cameras-tv-supreme-court.html

Although not the exact words of that great scold, the longest currently sitting and unarguably most condescendingly arrogant of Sotomayor’s fellow jurists, Antonin Scalia, I did get a sense that she is channeling him.

“Why should I be a party to the mis-education of the American people?” Scalia said on a tour promoting his book after a Florida college student asked “whether the rationale for Scalia’s well-known opposition to cameras in the Supreme Court was ‘vitiated’ by the facts that the Court allows public visitors to view arguments and releases full argument transcripts to the public, and that justices go out on book tours.”  http://copyrightsandcampaigns.blogspot.com/2009/02/scalias-weak-argument-against-cameras.html

I’d like to sic my friend and fellow author, David Dow, a now-retired television and radio reporter who wrote the book on cameras in the courtroom–literally! (Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice, McFarland & Company, Inc., 1998) on Sotomayor (Scalia being a lost cause, IMO).

At least the Radio and Television News Directors Association is trying.

Last week, RTNDA Executive Director Mike Cavender, sent Sotomayor a letter pointing out that “broadcast of the Supreme Court’s proceedings will further the interest of justice, enhance public understanding of the judicial system and maintain a high level of public confidence in the judiciary.” http://www.rtdna.org/article/sotomayor_s_courtroom_camera_reversal_prompts_rtdna_response

Stay tuned, but don’t hold your breath.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s