Ohio Chief Justice Expressed His Desire for Cameras to be Included in Court Sessions

Currently, the Supreme Courts of 50 states allow, of course with certain restrictions, to use audio and/or video recorders in its courtrooms. However, the U.S. Supreme Court prohibited any live video or audio recording during the court hearings. Some believe that broadcasting court hearings live would allow the facts discussed during the hearings to be misinterpreted and/or give the judges the opportunity to show off for the cameras.

At the same time, Maureen O’Connor, who is the Chief Justice in Ohio, confirmed that grandstanding never happened in the Supreme Court of Ohio during 10 years of broadcasting its hearings. Moreover, O’Connor strongly believes that citizens of the US have a right to know what is going on in American courtrooms, thus, she advised the U.S. Supreme Court to finally allow media recordings during its hearings.

On October 25, 2013 Maureen O’Connor, a former federal Court of Appeals judge and a former solicitor general for G. H. W. Bush Kenneth Starr, and, finally, a former acting U.S. solicitor general under President Barack Obama Neal Katyal, participated on a panel organized by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press at the National Press Club.

During the panel O’Connor stressed out how important cameras are in the courtrooms. O’Connor stated that it is important to have cameras in the courtrooms because people of the United States of America care about what is happening behind the closed doors of the Supreme Court’s courtrooms. However, O’Connor did not support the idea of Congress giving orders to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the use of video and audio recorders during its court hearings.

On the other hand, Katyal, who supports video and audio recording in the courtrooms of the Supreme Court said that he would not want people who are not knowledgeable in the field of law to force their resolutions on a court that is “exceptional” and the highest federal court. O’Connor’s reply to this statement was that every court in the US is “an exceptional experience” for the American people. Starr, who is currently the president of Texas Baylor University agreed with O’Connor and stated that the Justice of the Supreme Court are not “the Oracle of Delphi” and cannot be seen as the sources of the ultimate truth.