An Inspiring Sight for All

Posted in Case Reports, Kagan Nomination, Law and Politics by Mike Sacks on July 1, 2010

My latest–and final–ABA Journal online column from the Court’s 2009-10 term is now live:

Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s first unabashedly straight answer of her confirmation hearings to become a Supreme Court justice came early in her 17 hours of questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Ninety minutes into Kagan’s interrogation, Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wisc., asked her for her opinion on cameras in the Supreme Court.

“I think it would be a terrific thing to have cameras in the courtroom,” said Kagan (Video). “When you see what happens there, it’s an inspiring sight…It would be a great thing for the court and a great thing for the American people.”

Twenty-four hours earlier, I was sitting inside the court witnessing its final session of the term. Like a dozen times before, I had sat through the night on the pavement outside to be among the few who would catch a glimpse of the inspiring sight to which Kagan, by virtue of her office, had a front row seat all this year.

But on Monday morning, I would have traded all of my own fond memories of new friends made and stories told over the past six months for the whole country to have seen the same moving scenes I saw.

Read the rest here.

4 Responses

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  1. Jill M said, on July 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Great article, Mike! Congrats!

  2. Samantha said, on July 2, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    This is a great article that made several compelling arguments for allowing cameras at the Supreme Court. I may never make it to the Court to see oral arguments or opinions delivered live, as may many other lawyers and regular citizens. It seems backwards that the hearings to confirm a justice to the Court are held so publicly, but after confirmation, the new justice is out of the public eye for the most part.

    Some may argue that having live oral arguments would politicize or make the arguments delivered over-dramatically. However, having the opinions delivered live seems to be a reasonable solution — the public would get to see which justice delivered the majority opinion or minority opinion if there is one; the public could listen to any explanations a justice wishes to add to his or her opinion that they would otherwise be unaware of; and touching moments like what you witnessed could be witnessed by all, so people can realize that yes, these justices may disagree, but are respectful and human beings.

  3. fcl said, on July 4, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    This was a wonderful piece — you have chosen the right career path and I wish you luck!

  4. Joe said, on July 5, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    I agree that this is an eloquent article. The oral arguments and transcripts available over at are an amazing resource, one that underlines how even audio (with stills of those speaking) on C-SPAN is valuable here. Video, particularly of opinion days — which cry out for it — would be that much better. It is a shame only a small number saw this historical day. It is also rather unfair.

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