Transparency and accountability – two essential outcomes that are attainable if every courtroom across the country had cameras. Filming court proceedings, including the judges presiding and the lawyers arguing, and posting the videos online would reveal each judge’s and many lawyers’ behavior and competence. Legal consumers could go online and view potential lawyers in action, see how their judge treats litigants, observe any biases, and so much more.
On April 11, 2013, the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Maureen O’Connor, wrote a commentary in The Columbus Dispatch titled U.S. Supreme Court Should Allow Cameras. Citing her “unique perspective” as serving on a “televised Supreme Court,” Justice O’Connor bemoans the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to allow cameras for the recent same sex marriage arguments:
For most of us, after two days of arguments, we only have access to almost comical courtroom sketches of the proceedings rather than video or even still photographs. We are left with talking heads speculating on what they did not personally observe.* * *
[T]he day will come when all U.S. Supreme Court cases are broadcast live in their entirety.
When it does, people will look back on this era the way we do today on the days when ladies were not allowed on the floor of Congress.
The times, they are a’changing.
Times are changing, and ALL courts need to allow cameras and post the videos online. Only then will the court system truly be transparent and accountable.
You’ve got options. The Center for Legal Practice Reform can help you navigate the attorney/client relationship and level the playing field. Call LPR today for a free consultation – (301) 351-7970.
- Editorial: Let all witness our courts in action (newsday.com)