Congressional Record: September 26, 2005 (Senate)
Page S10426-S10430


      By Mr. SPECTER (for himself, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Allen, 
        Mr. Grassley, Mr. Schumer, and Mr. Feingold):
  S. 1768. A bill to permit the televising of Supreme Court 
proceedings; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. SPECTER. Mr. President, I seek recognition to introduce 
legislation that will give the public greater access to our Supreme 
Court. This bill requires the high Court to permit television coverage 
of its open sessions unless it decides by a vote of the majority of 
Justices that allowing such coverage in a particular case would violate 
the due process rights of one or more of the parties involved in the 
  The purpose of this legislation is to open the Supreme Court doors so 
that more Americans can see the process by which the Court reaches 
critical decisions of law that affect this country and everyday 
Americans. Because the Supreme Court of the United States holds power 
to decide cutting-edge questions on public policy, thereby effectively 
becoming a virtual ``super legislature,'' the public has a right to 
know what the Supreme Court is doing. And that right would be 
substantially enhanced by televising the oral arguments of the Court so 
that the public can see and hear the issues presented to the Court. 
With this information, the public would have insight into key issues 
and be better equipped to understand the impact of the Court's 
  In a very fundamental sense, televising the Supreme Court has been 
implicitly recognized--perhaps even sanctioned--in a 1980 decision by 
the Supreme Court of the United States entitled Richmond Newspapers v. 
Virginia. In this case, the Supreme Court noted that a public trial 
belongs not only to the accused, but to the public and the press as 
well; and that people now acquire information on court procedures 
chiefly through the print and electronic media.
  That decision, in referencing the electronic media, appears to 
anticipate televising court proceedings, although I do not mean to 
suggest that the Supreme Court is in agreement with this legislation. I 
should note that the Court could, on its own motion, televise its 
proceedings but has chosen not to do so, which presents, in my view, 
the necessity for legislating on this subject.
  When I argued the case of the Navy Yard, Dalton v. Specter, back in 
1994, the Court proceedings were illustrated by an artist's drawings. 
Now, however, the public gets a substantial portion, if not most, of 
its information from television and the internet. While many court 
proceedings are broadcast routinely on television, the public has 
little access to the most important and highest court in this country. 
The public must either rely on the print media, or stand in long lines 
outside the Supreme Court in Washington DC in order to get a brief 
glimpse of the open session from the public gallery.
  Justice Felix Frankfurter perhaps anticipated the day when Supreme 
Court arguments would be televised when he said that he longed for a 
day when: The news media would cover the Supreme Court as thoroughly as 
it did the World Series, since the public confidence in the judiciary 
hinges on the

[[Page S10427]]

public's perception of it, and that perception necessarily hinges on 
the media's portrayal of the legal system.
  When I spoke in favor of this legislation in September of 2000, I 
said, ``I do not expect a rush to judgment on this very complex 
proposition, but I do believe the day will come when the Supreme Court 
of the United States will be televised. That day will come, and it will 
be decisively in the public interest so the public will know the 
magnitude of what the Court is deciding and its role in our democratic 
process.'' Today, I believe the time has come and that this legislation 
is crucial to the public's awareness of Supreme Court proceedings and 
their impact on the daily lives of all Americans.
  I pause to note that it was not until 1955 that the Supreme Court, 
under the leadership of Chief Justice Warren, first began permitting 
audio recordings of oral arguments. Between 1955 and 1993, there were 
apparently over 5,000 recorded arguments before the Supreme Court. That 
roughly translates to an average of about one hundred thirty two (132) 
arguments annually. But audio recordings are simply ill suited to 
capture the nuance of oral arguments and the sustained attention of the 
American citizenry. Nor is it any response that people who wish to see 
open sessions of the Supreme Court should come to the Capital and 
attend oral arguments. For, according to one source: Several million 
people each year visit Washington, D.C., and many thousands tour the 
White House and the Capital. But few have the chance to sit in the 
Supreme Court chamber and witness an entire oral argument. Most 
tourists are given just three minutes before they are shuttled out and 
a new group shuttled in. In cases that attract headlines, seats for the 
public are scarce and waiting lines are long. And the Court sits in 
open session less than two hundred hours each year. Television cameras 
and radio microphones are still banned from the chamber, and only a few 
hundred people at most can actually witness oral arguments. Protected 
by a marble wall from public access, the Supreme Court has long been 
the least understood of the three branches of our federal government.
  In light of the increasing public desire for information, it seems 
untenable to continue excluding cameras from the courtroom of the 
Nation's highest court. As one legal commentator observes: An effective 
and legitimate way to satisfy America's curiosity about the Supreme 
Court's holdings, Justices, and modus operandi is to permit broadcast 
coverage of oral arguments and decision announcements from the 
courtroom itself.
  Televised court proceedings better enable the public to understand 
the role of the Supreme Court and its impact on the key decisions of 
the day. Not only has the Supreme Court invalidated Congressional 
decisions where there is, in the views of many, simply a difference of 
opinion to what is preferable public policy, but the Court determines 
novel issues such as whether AIDS is a disability under the Americans 
with Disabilities Act, whether Congress can ban obscenity from the 
Internet, and whether states can impose term limits upon members of 
Congress. The current Court, like its predecessors, hands down 
decisions which vitally affect the lives of all Americans. Since the 
Court's historic 1803 decision, Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court 
has the final authority on issues of enormous importance from birth to 
death. In Roe v. Wade (1973), the Court affirmed a Constitutional right 
to abortion in this country and struck down state statutes banning or 
severely restricting abortion during the first two trimesters on the 
grounds that they violated a right to privacy inherent in the Due 
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In the case of Washington 
v. Glucksberg (1997), the court refused to create a similar right to 
assisted suicide. Here the Court held that the Due Process Clause does 
not recognize a liberty interest that includes a right to commit 
suicide with another's assistance.

  In the seventies, the Court first struck down then upheld state 
statutes imposing the death penalty for certain crimes. In Furman v. 
Georgia (1972), the Court struck down Georgia's death penalty statute 
under the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment 
and stated that no death penalty law could pass constitutional muster 
unless it took aggravating and mitigating circumstances into account. 
This decision led Georgia and many states to amend their death penalty 
statutes and, four years later, in Gregg v. Georgia (1976), the Supreme 
Court upheld Georgia's amended death penalty statute.
  Over the years, the Court has also played a major role in issues of 
war and peace. In its opinion in Scott v. Sanford (1857)--better known 
as the Dredd Scott decision--the Supreme Court held that Dredd Scott, a 
slave who had been taken into ``free'' territory by his owner, was 
nevertheless still a slave. The Court further held that Congress lacked 
the power to abolish slavery in certain territories, thereby 
invalidating the careful balance that had been worked out between the 
North and the South on the issue. Historians have noted that this 
opinion fanned the flames that led to the Civil War.
  The Supreme Court has also ensured adherence to the Constitution 
during more recent conflicts. Prominent opponents of the Vietnam War 
repeatedly petitioned the Court to declare the Presidential action 
unconstitutional on the grounds that Congress had never given the 
President a declaration of war. The Court decided to leave this 
conflict in the political arena and repeatedly refused to grant writs 
of certiorari to hear these cases. This prompted Justice Douglas, 
sometimes accompanied by Justices Stewart and Harlan, to take the 
unusual step of writing lengthy dissents to the denials of cert.
  In New York Times Co. v. United States (1971)--the so called 
``Pentagon Papers'' case--the Court refused to grant the government 
prior restraint to prevent the New York Times from publishing leaked 
Defense Department documents which revealed damaging information about 
the Johnson Administration and the war effort. The publication of these 
documents by the New York Times is believed to have helped move public 
opinion against the war.
  In its landmark civil rights opinions, the Supreme Court took the 
lead in effecting needed social change, helping us to address 
fundamental questions about our society in the courts rather than in 
the streets. In Brown v. Board of Education, the Court struck down the 
principle of ``separate but equal'' education for blacks and whites and 
integrated public education in this country. This case was then 
followed by a series of civil rights cases which enforced the concept 
of integration and full equality for all citizens of this country, 
including Garner v. Louisiana, 1961, Burton v. Wilmington Parking 
Authority, 1961, and Peterson v. City of Greenville, 1963.
  In recent years Marbury, Dred Scott, Furman, New York Times, and Roe, 
familiar names in the lexicon of lawyerly discussions concerning 
watershed Supreme Court precedents, have been joined with similarly 
important cases like Hamdi, Rasul and Roper all cases that affect 
fundamental individual rights. In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 2004, the Court 
concluded that although Congress authorized the detention of 
combatants, due process demands that a citizen held in the United 
States as an enemy combatant be given a meaningful opportunity to 
contest the factual basis for that detention before a neutral 
decisionmaker. The Court reaffirmed the nation's commitment to 
constitutional principles even during times of war and uncertainty. 
Similarly, in Rasul v. Bush, 2004, the Court held that the federal 
habeas statute gave district courts jurisdiction to hear challenges of 
aliens held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in the U.S. War on Terrorism. 
Earlier this year in Roper v. Simmons, 2005, the Court held that 
executions of individuals who were under 18 years of age at the time of 
their capital crimes is prohibited by Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
  In June of this year, the Supreme Court issued Kelo v. City of New 
London, 2005, a highly controversial opinion in which a majority of the 
justices held that a city's exercise of eminent domain power in 
furtherance of an economic development plan satisfied the 
Constitution's Fifth Amendment ``public use'' requirement despite 
the absence of any blight. Moreover, on June 27, 2005, the High Court 
issued two rulings regarding the public display of the Ten 
Commandments. Each opinion was backed by a different coalition of four, 
with Justice Breyer as the swing vote.

[[Page S10428]]

The only discernible rule seems to be that the Ten Commandments may be 
displayed outside a public courthouse, Van Orden v. Perry, but not 
inside (McCreary County v. American Civil Liberties Union) and may be 
displayed with other documents, but not alone. In Van Orden v. Perry, 
the Supreme Court permitted a display of the Ten Commandments to remain 
on the grounds outside the Texas State Capitol. However, in McCreary 
County v. ACLU, a bare majority of Supreme Court Justices ruled that 
two Kentucky counties violated the Establishment Clause by erecting 
displays of the Ten Commandments indoors for the purpose of advancing 
religion. While the multiple concurring and dissenting opinions in 
these cases serve to explain some of the confounding differences in 
outcomes, it would have been extraordinarily fruitful for the American 
public to watch the Justices as they grappled with these issues during 
oral arguments that, presumably, reveal much more of their deliberative 
processes than mere text.

  Irrespective of ones view concerning the merits of these decisions, 
it is clear beyond cavil that they have a profound effect on the 
interplay between the government, on the one hand, and the individual 
on the other. So, it is with these watershed decisions in mind that I 
introduce legislation designed to make the Supreme Court less esoteric 
and more accessible to common men and women who are so clearly affected 
by its decisions.
  When deciding issues of such great national import, the Supreme Court 
is rarely unanimous. In fact, a large number of seminal Supreme Court 
decisions have been reached through a vote of 5-4. Such a close margin 
reveals that these decisions are far from foregone conclusions 
distilled from the meaning of the Constitution and legal precedents. On 
the contrary, these major Supreme Court opinions embody critical 
decisions reached on the basis of the preferences and views of each 
individual justice. In a case that is decided by a vote of 5-4, an 
individual justice has the power by his or her vote to change the law 
of the land.
  Some would argue that the Court has even played a significant role in 
deciding political contests as well. Who can forget the Court's 
dramatic decision in Bush v. Gore that enabled the country to move on 
from a bitterly fought presidential race. That decision, with its 
enormous repercussions for the Nation, cried out for greater public 
scrutiny of the process by which the Justices heard arguments and all 
but decided the fate of the 2000 presidential race.
  Given the enormous significance of each vote cast by each Justice on 
the Supreme Court, televising the proceedings of the Supreme Court will 
allow sunlight to shine brightly on these proceedings and ensure 
greater public awareness and scrutiny.
  In a democracy, the workings of the government at all levels should 
be open to public view. With respect to oral arguments, the more 
openness and the more real the opportunity for public observation the 
greater the understanding and trust. As the Supreme Court observed in 
the 1986 case of Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court, ``People in an 
open society do not demand infallibility from their institutions, but 
it is difficult for them to accept what they are prohibited from 
  It was in this spirit that the House of Representatives opened its 
deliberations to meaningful public observation by allowing C-SPAN to 
begin televising debates in the House chamber in 1979. The Senate 
followed the House's lead in 1986 by voting to allow television 
coverage of the Senate floor.
  Beyond this general policy preference for openness, however, there is 
a strong argument that the Constitution requires that television 
cameras be permitted in the Supreme Court.
  It is well established that the Constitution guarantees access to 
judicial proceedings to the press and the public. In 1980, the Supreme 
Court relied on this tradition when it held in Richmond Newspapers v. 
Virginia that the right of a public trial belongs not just to the 
accused, but to the public and the press as well. The Court noted that 
such openness has ``long been recognized as an indisputable attribute 
of an Anglo-American trial.''
  Recognizing that in modern society most people cannot physically 
attend trials, the Court specifically addressed the need for access by 
members of the media: Instead of acquiring information about trials by 
first hand observation or by word of mouth from those who attended, 
people now acquire it chiefly through the print and electronic media. 
In a sense, this validates the media claim of acting as surrogates for 
the public. [Media presence] contributes to public understanding of the 
rule of law and to comprehension of the functioning of the entire 
criminal justice system.

  To be sure, a strong argument can be made that forbidding television 
cameras in the court, while permitting access to print and other media, 
constitutes an impermissible discrimination against one type of media 
over another. In recent years, the Supreme Court and lower courts have 
repeatedly held that differential treatment of different media is 
impermissible under the First Amendment absent an overriding 
governmental interest. For example, in 1983 the Court invalidated 
discriminatory tax schemes imposed only upon certain types of media in 
Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co. v. Minnesota Commissioner of Revenue. In 
the 1977 case of ABC v. Cuomo, the Second Circuit rejected the 
contention by the two candidates for mayor of New York that they could 
exclude some members of the media from their campaign headquarters by 
providing access through invitation only. The Court wrote that: Once 
there is a public function, public comment, and participation by some 
of the media, the First Amendment requires equal access to all of the 
media or the rights of the First Amendment would no longer be tenable.
  In the 1965 case of Estes v. Texas, the Supreme Court rejected the 
argument that the denial of television coverage of trials violates the 
equal protection clause. In the same opinion, the Court held that the 
presence of television cameras in the Court had violated a Texas 
defendant's right to due process. Subsequent opinions have cast serious 
doubt upon the continuing relevance of both prongs of the Estes 
  In its 1981 opinion in Chandler v. Florida, the court recognized that 
Estes must be read narrowly in light of the state of television 
technology at that time. The television coverage of Estes' 1962 trial 
required cumbersome equipment, numerous additional microphones, yards 
of new cables, distracting lighting, and numerous technicians present 
in the courtroom. In contrast, the court noted, television coverage in 
1980 can be achieved through the presence of one or two discreetly 
placed cameras without making any perceptible change in the atmosphere 
of the courtroom. Accordingly, the Court held that, despite Estes, the 
presence of television cameras in a Florida trial was not a violation 
of the rights of the defendants in that case. By the same logic, the 
holding in Estes that exclusion of television cameras from the courts 
did not violate the equal protection clause must be revisited in light 
of the dramatically different nature of television coverage today.
  Given the strength of these arguments, it is not surprising that over 
the last two decades there has been a rapidly growing acceptance of 
cameras in American courtrooms which has reached almost every court 
except for the Supreme Court itself. Ironically, it was the Chandler 
decision which helped spur the spread of television cameras in the 
courts. Shortly after Chandler, the American Bar Association revised 
its canons to permit judges to authorize televising civil and criminal 
proceedings in their courts.
  Following the green lights provided by the Supreme Court and the ABA, 
nearly all the States have decided to permit electronic coverage of at 
least some portion of their judicial proceedings. In 1990, the Federal 
Judicial Conference authorized a three-year pilot program allowing 
television coverage of civil proceedings in six federal district courts 
and two federal circuit courts. The program began in July, 1991, and 
ran through December 31, 1994. The Federal Judicial Center monitored 
the program and issued a positive final evaluation. In particular, the 
Judicial Center concluded that: Overall, attitudes of judges toward 
electronic media coverage of civil proceedings were initially neutral 
and became more favorable after experience under the pilot program.

[[Page S10429]]

  The Judicial Center also concluded that: Judges and attorneys who had 
experience with electronic media coverage under the program generally 
reported observing small or no effects of camera presence on 
participants in the proceedings, courtroom decorum, or the 
administration of justice.
  Despite this positive evaluation, the Judicial Conference voted in 
September 1994, to end the experiment and not to extend the camera 
coverage to all courts. This decision was made in the aftermath of the 
initial burst of television coverage of O.J. Simpson's pretrial 
hearing. Some have argued that the decision was unduly influenced by 
this outside event. In March 1996, the Judicial Conference revisited 
the issue of television cameras in the federal courts and voted to 
permit each Federal court of appeals to ``decide for itself whether to 
permit the taking of photographs and radio and television coverage of 
appellate arguments.'' Since that time, two circuit courts have enacted 
rules permitting television coverage of their arguments. It is 
significant to note that these two circuits were the two circuits which 
participated in the federal experiment with television cameras a few 
years earlier. It seems that once judges have an experience with 
cameras in their courtroom, they no longer oppose the idea.

  On September 6, 2000, the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee 
on Administrative Oversight and the Courts held a hearing titled 
``Allowing Cameras and Electronic Media in the Courtroom.'' The primary 
focus of the hearing was Senate bill S. 721, legislation introduced by 
Senators Grassley and Schumer that would give Federal judges the 
discretion to allow television coverage of court proceedings. One of 
the witnesses at the hearing, Judge Edward Becker, Chief Judge U.S. 
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, spoke in opposition to the 
legislation and the presence of television cameras in the courtroom. 
The remaining five witnesses, however, including a Federal judge, a 
State judge, a law professor and other legal experts, all testified in 
favor of the legislation. They argued that cameras in the courts would 
not disrupt proceedings but would provide the kind of accountability 
and access that is fundamental to our system of government.
  In my judgment, Congress, with the concurrence of the President, or 
overriding his veto, has the authority to require the Supreme Court to 
televise its proceedings. Such a conclusion is not free from doubt and 
is highly likely to be tested with the Supreme Court, as usual, having 
the final word. As I see it, there is clearly no constitutional 
prohibition against such legislation.
  Article 3 of the Constitution states that the judicial power of the 
United States shall be vested ``in one Supreme Court and such inferior 
Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.'' 
While the Constitution specifically creates the Supreme Court, it left 
it to Congress to determine how the Court would operate. For example, 
it was Congress that fixed the number of justices on the Supreme Court 
at nine. Likewise, it was Congress that decided that any six of these 
justices are sufficient to constitute a quorum of the Court. It was 
Congress that decided that the term of the Court shall commence on the 
first Monday in October of each year, and it was Congress that 
determined the procedures to be followed whenever the Chief Justice is 
unable to perform the duties of his office.
  Beyond such basic structural and operational matters, Congress also 
controls more substantive aspects of the Supreme Court. Most 
importantly, it is Congress that in effect determines the appellate 
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Although the Constitution itself 
sets out the appellate jurisdiction of the Court, it provides that such 
jurisdiction exist ``with such exceptions and under such regulations as 
the Congress shall make.'' In the early days of the Supreme Court, 
Chief Justice Marshall, writing for the Court in Durousseau v. United 
States, recognized that the power to make exceptions to the Court's 
jurisdiction is the equivalent of the power to grant jurisdiction, 
since exceptions can be ``implied from the intent manifested by the 
affirmative description [of jurisdiction].''
  The Supreme Court recognized the power of Congress to control its 
appellate jurisdiction in a dramatic way in the famous 1868 case of Ex 
Parte McCardle. In this case, McCardle, a newspaper editor, was being 
held in custody by the military for trial on charges stemming from the 
publication of articles alleged to be libelous and incendiary. McCardle 
petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus. The Court 
heard his case but, before it rendered its opinion, Congress repealed 
the statute that gave the Supreme Court jurisdiction to hear the habeas 
appeal. In light of this Congressional action, the Supreme Court felt 
compelled to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.
  Some objections have been raised to televised proceedings of the 
Supreme Court on the ground that it would subject justices to undue 
security risks. My own view is such concerns are vastly overstated. 
Well-known members of Congress, walk on a regular basis in public view 
in the Capitol complex. Other very well-known personalities, 
presidents, vice presidents, cabinet officers, all are on public view 
with even incumbent presidents exposed to risks as they mingle with the 
public. Such risks are minimal in my view given the relatively minor 
exposure that Supreme Court justices would undertake through television 
  As I explained earlier, the Supreme Court could, of course, permit 
television through its own rule but has decided not to do so. Congress 
should be circumspect and even hesitant to impose a rule mandating the 
televising of Supreme Court proceedings and should do so only in the 
face of compelling public policy reasons. The Supreme Court has such a 
dominant role in key decision-making functions that their proceedings 
ought to be better known to the public; and, in the absence of Court 
rule, public policy would be best served by enactment of legislation 
requiring the televising of Supreme Court proceedings.
  This legislation embodies sound policy and will prove valuable to the 
public. I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
  I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the 
  There being no objective, the bill was ordered to be printed in the 
Record, as follows:

                                S. 1768

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       (a) In General.--Chapter 45 of title 28, United States 
     Code, is amended by inserting at the end the following:

     ``Sec. 678. Televising Supreme Court proceedings

       ``The Supreme Court shall permit television coverage of all 
     open sessions of the Court unless the Court decides, by a 
     vote of the majority of justices, that allowing such coverage 
     in a particular case would constitute a violation of the due 
     process rights of 1 or more of the parties before the 
       (b) Clerical Amendment.--The chapter analysis for chapter 
     45 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting 
     at the end the following:

``678. Televising Supreme Court proceedings.''.

  Mr. LEAHY. I am pleased to join Senator Specter as a cosponsor of 
this bill that would require the televising of Supreme Court 
  In the Senate Judiciary Committee, we recently conducted open 
hearings on the nomination of John G. Roberts to be Chief Justice of 
the United States. We raised this matter with Judge Roberts. I have 
long believed in sunshine in government. Our democracy works best when 
our citizens have access to their government. I have supported efforts 
to make all three branches of our Federal Government more accessible. 
Except for rare closed sessions, the proceedings Congress and its 
committees are open to the public and carried live on cable television 
and radio. In addition, Members and committees are using the Internet 
and Web sites to make their work available to their constituencies and 
the general public.
  The work of executive branch agencies is subject to public scrutiny 
through the Freedom of Information Act, among other mechanisms. Despite 
the current administration's dramatic shift toward excessive secrecy, 
the Freedom of Information Act remains a cornerstone of democracy. It 
establishes the right of Americans to know what their government is 
doing--or not doing. As President Johnson said in

[[Page S10430]]

1966, when he signed the Freedom of Information Act into law:

       This legislation springs from one of our most essential 
     principles: A democracy works best when the people have all 
     the information the security of the Nation permits.

  Although most judicial proceedings are open to those who can travel 
to the courthouse and wait in line, emerging technology allows the 
opportunity to invite the rest of the country into the courtroom. All 
50 States have allowed some form of audio or video coverage of court 
proceedings, but Federal courts lag behind. Previously, I have 
cosponsored several bills with Senator Grassley to address this, 
including the Sunshine in the Courtroom Act of 2005.
  The legislation I am cosponsoring today extends the tradition of 
openness to the Nation's highest Court and can help Americans be better 
informed about the important decisions that are made there and how they 
are made. This bill requires the Supreme Court to permit television 
coverage of all open sessions of the Court. At the same time, it 
protects the parties from violation of their due process rights by 
permitting a majority of the Justices to suspend this coverage for a 
particular session if due process requires.
  In 1994, the Judicial Conference concluded that the time was not ripe 
to permit cameras in the Federal courts, and rejected a recommendation 
of the Court Administration and Case Management Committee to authorize 
the photographing, recording, and broadcasting of civil proceedings in 
Federal trial and appellate courts.
  The Supreme Court is often the final arbiter of constitutional 
questions and represents the ultimate protection of individual rights 
and liberties. Allowing the public greater access to its public 
proceedings will allow Americans to evaluate for themselves the quality 
of justice in this country, and deepen their understanding of the work 
that goes on in the Court.