supreme courtThe issue of allowing the people to see how the government works has been subject of numerous debates in the past. The voting public seems to think it’s a good idea, but most of the people who are going to become the subject of those viewings are a bit uneasy about the thought of it all.

This is not a Stage

The latest and most prominent member of the latter group is Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. When the justice was speaking at the University of Chicago, she said she was uncomfortable with the idea of allowing cameras to record the court’s oral arguments and have them televised.

The justice is sympathetic to the cause of showing people an example of government institutions working well, just not in that way. According to her reasoning, bringing in a third party audience, albeit only an observing one, can encourage grandstanding and theatrics among the members observed.

This notion was first expressed by her colleague Justice Anthony Kennedy. This is an idea that makes sense for attorneys like Robert Yousefian, who think that officers of the court shouldn’t resort to such tactics when delivering an argument.

Congress is not a Good Example

Providing further support for her statement, Justice Kagan points to how Congress currently works and acts. Right now, Republicans have the majority in the Senate, with many of their members coming from the far right Tea Party.

Ever since Congress allowed their sessions to be televised, there have been more gimmicks, and “passionate” speeches from several of its members. It has allowed the American people greater insight into the debates and arguments of the people within the halls of power. But, it’s also become a stage through which ambitious congressional representatives extend their sphere of influence over the audience.

Congress is currently in a deadlock right now with the White House regarding numerous policies, and it’s difficult for analysts see any way the two can reconcile without one of them losing face. The Justice Department, by the nature of its office, can’t afford to engage either of the Legislative or the Executive if it wants to maintain its power and objectivity.