Open Court Advocates: Justice Doesn't Have to Be Delayed

A group that has long fought for electronic coverage of Supreme Court continues to push the High Court to work online like most of the rest of the country, citing a recent study to buttress its case.

Related: Closed Supreme Court Should Open for Streaming

With the Supreme Court announcing last week it was postponing oral argument again this month due to social distancing--as it did in March--Fix the Court is pushing it to hold the arguments virtually rather than defer justice for another month.

Fix the Court, a longtime proponent of cameras and now streaming in the court, said the Justices should hold remote hearings and stream and/or televise them.

Fix the Court executive director Gabe Roth points to a new poll by PSB Research that found that 72% support the court continuing to meet via broadband during the pandemic, with only 13% opposing.

Between a half and two-thirds (61%) also say those virtual hearings should be public, with 22% opposed. Asked about televising Supreme Court arguments pandemic or no, 64% favored it.

“The numbers are conclusive. The American public expects Supreme Court justices to use modern technology to continue doing their jobs, and that includes hearing arguments,” said Roth.

PSB conducted the online survey of 1,000 adults March 26-27. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at 95% confidence. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.