From The Washington Times:
Allowing cameras to capture Supreme Court oral arguments would give Americans an unfiltered look at how the judiciary branch works, government investigators have found, yet the high court itself remains leery, saying the debut of video would invite grandstanding by lawyers while only spotlighting a smidgen of what the justices do.
The Government Accountability Office interviewed a series of judges and lawyers about their experiences before the cameras in federal and state appeals courts and looked at English-language courts abroad, hoping to root out the pros and cons of taping the justices.
Many said live-streaming and TV reports helped the public digest the appeals process and understand how judges apply legal precedent. It also gave the public a front-row seat to debates that can affect millions.
The main drawback, stakeholders say, is that sound bites and clips can be taken out of context or distorted in the media, so courts may want to tape the proceedings themselves and control distribution.
For decades the media, advocates and lawmakers have urged the Supreme Court to air oral arguments, much as C-SPAN broadcasts live action from Congress on a series of TV and web channels.
The high court also bars live audio of oral argument, though it does tape sessions and releases the audio at the end of the week. In rare instances it will release audio the same day as the oral argument.
Supreme Court justices have said the advent of video could affect how lawyers and the justices themselves act during…