The Washington Post reports that the Supreme Court will begin, in the coming term, to post same-day transcripts of oral arguments on its website. This is progress. It wasn’t long ago that the official transcripts released by the Court did not bear the names of the justices when each asked a question, but in the last few terms that odd omission of information was remedied. Transcripts were still held back for two weeks before release to the public, though, and now that relic of yesteryear is passing too.
If this is Chief Justice Roberts’ way of giving a little (timelier information) in order to avoid giving a lot (TV coverage) to the forces of modernization, I’m with him all the way. Same-day release of the transcripts works no harm to the work of the Court. It cannot be confidently predicted that TV cameras in the courtroom wouldn’t be harmful, however.