Television has its place


Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is famously against allowing the electronic media to invade the sanctity of his place of business. And he is famously averse to reporters. At a venue where he was giving a lecture, he once ordered a reporter’s tape destroyed, setting off a flurry of First Amendment arguments. Note that it is difficult to win such an argument with a sitting Supreme Court justice. But word comes from the Associated Press that the Justice will sit before the cameras of CBS news magazine "60 Minutes." There is, of course a reason for allowing the generally spurned media a moment of access to his Honor: He has a book to promote. AP notes that Justice Clarence Thomas, similarly media-averse, also managed to overcome this distaste when he had a book for sale.

RBR/TVBR observation: Hey, we realize that the Supreme Court is not the syndicated "People’s Court," but the fact that it IS in fact the lower case people’s court makes it all the more important that the public have clear access to whatever goes on there. If we are allowed to see how a judge arrives at the value of a damage award when somebody’s dog digs up a neighbor’s prize geraniums, than it is much more important that we all see how the court arrives at its upcoming decision on the enforcement of fleeting expletives. Scalia and Thomas work for us, not the other way around, and camera and microphones should be allowed in the court at all times.