Supreme Court

Cameras in the Courtroom, Canadian Edition


The Legal Times' Tony Mauro contrasts Canada and the U.S. when it comes to the issue of cameras in each nation's highest court:

U.S. Supreme Court justices still talk about television cameras as if they were deeply mysterious, brain-draining devices not to be approached with anything shorter than a 40-foot pole. But in Canada's Supreme Court, where proceedings have been broadcast for more than 20 years, cameras are just part of the scenery, barely worth a mention….

"We decided to do this on a trial basis about 21 years ago," [Canadian Chief Justice Beverly] McLachlin said. "We were very wary. But what we have is this: We have some stationary cameras. We are just oblivious to them. I don't think I ever think about them in the course of a hearing … They're unobtrusive."

McLachlin said the hearings in full are broadcast "not at prime time" on CPAC, Canada's version of C-SPAN, but are also excerpted for nightly news shows—the snippets that U.S. justices fear like the plague. In those brief reports, McLachlin said the media have been "very very very responsible" in giving balanced reports, perhaps in part because they know the court could end the experiment at any time.

Read the whole thing here. makes the case for cameras in the Supreme Court below:

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  1. Really, the Supreme Court is hopelessly primitive. Not only should they televise oral arguments, they should make a reality show around their clerks, push video on social media, and twitter nonstop.

    1. If ever appointed to the Supreme Court, I promise to twitter during oral arguments.

      1. twitter? tweet, I guess.

        I dont use it now, so it will be a big change when Im on the bench.

          1. Conjugate that verb. Twitter, tweet, twat, twatten…


            2. Hear me, knave, to have twatten alone in your castle keep, as you have done, is to have sleep’d with the Father of Lies, as well as wager with hazard your very eyesight.

              A Midsummer Night’s [redacted]

    2. How about Survivor SCOTUS?

      1. Silly person from the Great White North, you don’t understand our system of checks and balances at all. In the American system, Survivor SCOTUS must be housed in the Senate. That’s how we’ll handle advice and consent going forward.

        1. From now on the prez has to nominate sixteen to twenty candidates for each slot. After a series of tests the Senators will vote one “off the bench” until only one survives, all on live TV.

          I like it.

          Sounds like the way to handle all presidential appointments.

          Maybe we ought to use a system like that to choose the president. Couldn’t work any worse that the Electoral College or direct voting .

          1. Aresen is a television genius.

          2. Isn’t that what the primaries are all about? (OK, maybe there should be more candidates, and not only registered Rs and Ds vote, but you get the idea)

    3. @WiseLatina: nodded off during orals. Something bout 2nd amendment applies to individuals. Woke up when Thomas ripped one under his robe LOL.

      1. Brilliant.

    4. @TonyKENNEDY: O look someone hosed off for their SCOTUS date. Should be gratfl state wants to do something useful w/ his property.

    5. @rlstheKagan: blablabla #CommerceClause is settled law ppl. wonder what @Rosieodonnell is up to?

  2. I don’t feel any strong need for video of appellate arguments. But live audio and podcasts would appear to be a no-brainer.

  3. For some reason, I like the idea that the Supreme Court has never allowed cameras. I like them being crotchety and out of touch with modern times. I just wish their decisions were more 18th century.

    1. The court really started going downhill when they did away with the powdered wigs.

  4. If you don’t have anything to hide, what’s the problem, citizen ?

  5. they all look guilty to me

  6. “the media have been “very very very responsible” in giving balanced reports, perhaps in part because they know the court could end the experiment at any time.”

    Maybe its because the state run media and the Canadian court’s statism go hand in hand.

  7. I can give you three indisputable reasons why there should be no camers. Gisberg, Kagen and Sotomayor.

    1. Add n’s as needed.

      1. I’d have no problem as long as they don’t allow HD cameras. The thought of seeing any of those three on a 60 in” plasma screen in HD is enough to make me want to vomit.

        We do need cameras in there, though, and a C-SPAN 4 channel ealing solely with the judiciary. It could educate people on the processes and procedures our courts are using, as well as the ones used in the past when the Constitution wasn’t a living, breathing document.

        1. “It could educate people on the processes and procedures our courts are using, as well as the ones used in the past when the Constitution wasn’t a living, breathing document”

          That’s what my show is for.

          1. Damn joke names.

    2. There’s a three-way dildo party story in this somewhere. Although I doubt Kagen likes to be penetrated. Maybe just smoosh a Fleshlight up under her gunt.

      1. Again with the imagery.

        Well at least you’re helping me with my diet program.

        No appetite now.

      2. It’s KAGAN, libertards!

        1. Release the Kagen!

      3. “Although I doubt Kagen likes to be penetrated”

        Are you kidding? It doesn’t get more bottom butch than Kagen.

        1. I bow to your superior knowledge of overweight stealth lesbians.

          Despite the fact you said Warty was your favorite commenter.

          1. What can I say? I just like the guy and what he has to share with us.

  8. You’re kidding, right? What’s next, live video feeds of Conclave?

  9. Big Brother we all know, Little Brother is what uploads from your cel to youtube; would this be Middle Brother?

  10. Does it matter? The Supreme Court make their minds up and trade votes outside of camera range so what are the cameras going to show?

    Its like cameras in Congress, they make their deals outside of camera range there too.

  11. I liked the “conspiracy” intro. But I’m not looking forward to supreme court arguments becoming vapid point scoring events like the state of the union or congressional floor “debates”.

    Get CSPAN out of congress as well.

  12. Someone should put in pinhole and lipstick cameras along with bugs/mics without telling the Justices. How’s it feel to be spied upon, bitches?

  13. Again, if you’ve got nothing to hide, what’s the problem ?

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