Study Shows Strong Support for Cameras in High Court

Majority say oral arguments should be televised

Public support for televising Supreme Court oral arguments is at an all-time high, according to C-SPAN, which just released a new poll, in conjunction with researcher Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), on attitudes toward the high court.

According to the poll, 76% of respondents said that the court should allow TV coverage, which is up 15 percentage points from a June 2009 survey, said C-SPAN.

A little under half (43%) said they thought televising the proceedings would boost the public's respect for the process.

"Greater visibility from televised oral arguments may represent a path for the U.S. Supreme Court to better explain their decisions and also improve their image," said PSB principal Robert Green in announcing the results.

Whether they are on TV or not, most American's don't think it should be a lifetime gig.

Only one in 20 respondents strongly favored the current lifetime appointment system, while 79% said they would prefer 18-year terms, with the possibility of reappointment.

The study was conducted July 1-6 among 1,201 adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.83 percent at a 95% confidence level.

C-SPAN has been one of the strongest voices for televising Supreme Court arguments, offering to provide the kind for unobtrusive window on the judicial branch that it has provided for the legislature. C-SPAN is a public service offering supported by cable operators nationwide.