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Cameras in the Supreme Court would be a step toward accountability

By Rep. Gerry Connolly

The recent draconian decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has unleashed a crisis of legitimacy at the Supreme Court. For the first time, the American people are grappling with the realization that an established constitutional right has been ripped away. Secrecy and a lack of transparency will only further that mistrust.

The Oct. 3 editorial “Put cameras in the Supreme Court” appropriately calls for modernization of the court, but such modernization cannot be painfully incremental. The Roberts court is not some mystical priesthood that can operate outside the public view. It is a coequal branch of government that must be accountable to the American people. That’s why I have continuously introduced the Cameras in the Courtroom Act. Placing cameras in the Supreme Court will not fully absolve the institution from well-deserved criticism, and more reforms, such as term limits, must be explored. But cameras in the court will finally force it to operate in the 21st century.

In today’s digital age, it strains credulity to think that this modest effort at transparency would prove impossible to implement or somehow inhibit the ability of our justices to hear cases in a fair manner. It’s time we put cameras in the court.

The writer, a Democrat, represents Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives.

To view this piece as it appeared in the Washington Post, click here.
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