Kagan & Sotomayor Do 180s On Video
March 11 (Bloomberg Law) — What is it about serving on the Supreme Court that causes justices to flip-flop on video coverage of oral arguments?
The last two justices to be appointed, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, both supported cameras in the Court during their confirmation hearings.
Kagan told Congress, “I think it would be a great thing for the institution, and more important, I think it would be a great thing for the American people.”
But in September, she told a University of Michigan Law School audience that she’s concerned about how the footage would be used, and that people might play to the cameras.
Last month, Sotomayor told Charlie Rose that “most viewers” won’t “appreciate what the Court is doing.”
Why the change?
Perhaps fear of being mocked, taken out of context, and used for political advantage. Afterall, the Republican National Committee released a video on YouTube, making fun of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli’s Obamacare arguments, using only audio.