Citizen confidence in our republic would be bolstered if only the nine recalcitrant people who sit on the U.S. Supreme Court would allow everyone to watch what happens in their lofty courtroom.
The Associated Press, which is a news cooperative that includes The Post-Journal, was among several organizations that petitioned the court to allow television cameras in the courtroom this week. That would have enabled everyone to watch the historic oral arguments in the lawsuit brought by 26 states challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care act known popularly as Obamacare.
All of the requests were denied, including one from C-Span to put cameras in the court to later broadcast the arguments in total. The court did agree to release audio recordings of the arguments on the same day.
We appreciate the justices' concerns about cameras possibly affecting the debates and changing the courtroom's dynamics.
However, we suggest they take the time to talk with the seven judges on the New York Court of Appeals - which is the highest court in the state. Oral arguments in that court are broadcast live on the Internet. An archive going back two years is available on line.
Surely our judges have enough experience with this newfangled technology to offer sound advice to the Supreme Court justices.
In any case, we are in four-square agreement with our junior senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, who champions legislation that would authorize Supreme Court proceedings to be televised.
"Accountability doesn't end with Congress or the president. The lifetime appointments of government's third branch need some real accountability too,'' she said.
''Even though the Supreme Court has the power to fundamentally change the course of our country, and affect the most deeply personal aspects of our lives, the business of U.S. Supreme Court is largely done behind closed doors. Empowering everyday Americans with the ability to see the business of America's highest court will help give them the voice they need to stand up to powerful special interests, and make our government more fair and honest," Sen. Gillibrand said.
Yes it will.
It is time to bring the Supreme Court into the 20th century.
We leave it to later generations to coax the justices into the 21st.