Sotomayor Raises RTNDA Hopes For Court Cameras

Chairman Woelfel "encouraged" by new justice's response during confirmation hearing

The Radio-Television News Directors Association said Wednesday that Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation by the Senate for the Supreme Court was an encouraging sign for cameras in that venue.

RTNDA, which has been pushing to get cameras into the high court for years, was buoyed by Sotomayor's response to questioning from camera fan Herb Kohl about her views on televising the court.

"I have had positive experiences with cameras when I have been asked to join experiments using cameras in the courtroom," she said.

While she did not commit to supporting them, RTNDA pointed out, she said she would be a "new voice in the discussion," which RTNDA points out is an improvement over the justice she is replacing, David Souter, who was firmly opposed.

"I'm encouraged that Justice Sotomayor used the word 'positive' to describe her experiences with cameras in the courtroom," said RTNDA Chairman Stacey Woelfel in a statement. "Every state has some provision for cameras to provide appellate court coverage. The prospect that our viewers may soon be able to get that same coverage of the Supreme Court is very exciting indeed."

RTNDA has long argued that the way to make courts truly public is to use technology to open them to as much as the public as possible.