Sketches are not fit for the Supreme Court: Matt's Memo

Sketch of Supreme Court of the United States.

Even the best of courtroom artwork is no longer fitting for our highest court in the land. This is one of the few weeks of the year where we pay close attention to the Supreme Court. The two gay marriage cases have attracted intense attention. How do we get to experience history being made in the court, we see it through the rendering of an artist with a professional box of chalk.

Actually, there was a sound recording offered for news coverage. I listened to long pieces of the oral arguments between the justices and the presenting attorneys. It was so enlightening and revealing to hear the voices of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Scalia, Ginsburg, Kennedy and Kagan. They interupt the arguments with pointed questions. We wonder if there concerns with the case are a hint at how they will rule.

So we have sketches and we have audio. Pictures and sound combined together. It sounds a lot like television. Yes, television. Why on earth in this age of advanced media don't we have cameras in federal courts in general and the Supreme Court in particular?

Surely the justices would defend the longstanding rules against such interference in the judicial process. That argument no longer stands the technical test. Just like other recently built courtrooms, the Supreme Court could surely be wired with small remote cameras that would connect with the existing audio system.

What an experience it would be for the American public to watch, listen and learn from these brilliant thinkers. After all this group of nine will have a greater effect on future generations than anyone else currently residing in Washington in the executive or legislative branch.


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