Transparency for the Supreme Court
Last comment by Ironside 4 years ago.

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In theory the Supreme Court stands apart from the political fray, rendering decisions based on the merits of the case rather than furthering a political agenda. In practice theory and reality parted company long, long ago. As it stands each political party tries to gain political ascendancy by stacking the deck whenever possible. The losers in this crude ballet are the American public and the integrity of the Court.

Several changes are long overdue. Supreme Court hearings should be televised. Justices should attend press conferences, and provisions should be made for public forums before and after a decision is rendered. I would also suggest term limitations and a mandatory retirement age. Perhaps a nonvoting public tribune could advise the court, asking the fundamental question: who is served? Supreme Court justices are the watchers of judicial probity ,but who shall watch the watchers?Additional accountability would eliminate egregious decisions like the absurd Citizens United decision and prevent the commodification of the highest court in the land. Let us return political power to the people of this country.

Latest Activity: Mar 01, 2014 at 9:12 PM

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SgtFriday2 commented on Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 08:52 AM

I agree 100%. Well said.

gawalkman commented on Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 10:45 AM


Is the country already divided enough? Is there not enough political chaos in this country?

No, the Supreme Court hearings should remain "off camera." They should be able to rise above the political arena as much as possible. Televising the proceedings would only interrupt the hearings, some of which have waited more than a year to reach the bench. Would you want commercial interruptions?

Why should they be televised? Same day transcripts are available through the Supreme Court website. Anyone who has the determination can download the decisions handed down by the court along with their viewpoints.

Most Americans would find the court proceedings dull and boring. That's why Court TV had to resort to "reality tv" in order to maintain an audience.

Just this past week, the Drudge Report posted a video that someone made of a Supreme Court hearing in October 2013. That person has since been arrested and the court is working on solutions. It was made illegally and without consent. A spy camera was used to record the proceedings. Believe me, I would have had an easier time taking a sleeping pill to put me to sleep than watching that day in court.

In regards to your other comments, it is the SCOTUS that is the one governmental branch that provides stability to the other two branches. This was done by design. It is the only branch of government that gives the common man one chance in hell of controlling the other two branches.

Go ahead and push for your utopia, just don't blame me for the chaos and the destruction of our country that results from it.

theflyonthewall commented on Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 12:03 PM

You may wish to read the latest Supreme Court decision authorizing searches without a warrant, not a high water mark for the Court or personal liberty.

Democracy is messy. I think you are confusing a growing authoritarianism with stability.

As to your other comments, America is fast becoming a land of lotus eaters primarily concerned with bread and circuses.

gawalkman commented on Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 15:10 PM


I too am very concerned about this week's past decision concerning searches without a warrant when two occupants disagree on consenting. The police should have to get a warrant whenever the occupants disagree. I blogged about this on a different site.

However, I do not want to change the Court because of a few bad decisions. To do so would disrupt or punish the Court for the wise decisions they have made over the years.

Yes, the Court maybe a partner in crime with our politicians. However, they are the one thing that stands between complete tyranny and hope for freedom. Our political direction changes every two or four years. The direction of the Court does not change as often; therefore, providing stability.

"bread and circuses"? When Rome was falling apart, Agustus used that as a way of trying to maintain stability. However, it did not work. Some people in our society should learn from it.

Ironside commented on Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 19:52 PM

Fly: Your heart is in the right place. It is good that you are concerned.The Supreme Court was set up to be free from the political fray. That is why they have lifetime appointments. Once appointed, a new president from the other party could not remove and replace them.This freedom from the political back and forth was to allow them to rule based on the Constitution, and not fear retribution. The Dred Scott case is an example of this freedom allowing the Supreme Court to rule correctly. (Albeit that it is a reprehensible ruling in today's political climate and against the Declaration of Independence "All men are created equal") The Dred Scott case was ruled correctly by the Court. Slaves were personal property under the Constitution in those days. The ruling that an escaped slave must be returned to his slave ownwer eventhough the slave may have fled to a Free State was Constitutional and the correct ruling. Cameras in the court would remove the vail of importance shown to the Supreme Court and subject it to the political circus that our politics have become. Finally, we have seen how cameras in the courtroom can influence what happens. The OJ Simpson case is a classic example of this. I prefer the Canadian way. Their trials have a news blackout. Reporters attend each day of the trial. They can report what happened once the trial is over. This allows the process not to be influenced by public opinion or political opinion. The jury can focus on the evidence to find the truth and see to it that justice is served. Finally, the problem we have today is the Supreme Court Justices who do not leave their political beliefs at the door.They focus on what they want the Constitution to say to advance their political leanings, instead of what is written in the Constitution.Roe Vs Wade is an example of this. The Court created a Right where there is't one in the Constitution as written.

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