Magazine November 16, 2020, Issue

Cameras Don’t Belong in the Supreme Court

(Roman Genn)
Oyez only, please

In the midst of Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Senator Chuck Grassley asked the nominee about her views on having cameras in the Supreme Court. “I would certainly keep an open mind about allowing cameras in the Supreme Court,” she answered.

This was very nearly a disqualifying remark by the otherwise exceptionally qualified nominee. Barrett surely understands that the Founders would never have approved of justices’ being subjected to the passions and pressures ignited by the vulgar transparency of mass media. When Hamilton, arguing for the creation of a supreme court in Federalist No. 81, mentions the “pestilential breath

This article appears as “Oyez Only” in the November 16, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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