Scalia: Cameras in the court will "miseducate" people

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia participates at the third annual Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum in Washington Thursday Oct. 6, 2011. The Atlantic, the Aspen Institute, and the Newseum presented the third Annual Washington Ideas Forum, which drew together more than 60 policy makers, business leaders, and top journalists for a series of conversations and in-depth interviews about the direction of the country. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

(CBS News) Both Democrats and Republicans have for years urged the Supreme Court to allow cameras into the high court, but Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that video footage would only serve to "miseducate the American people."

In an interview with C-SPAN that will air Sunday, Scalia said that watching remarks from the Supreme Court taken out of context would be more damaging than simply reading the remarks out of context in a newspaper.

"Somehow when you see it live, an excerpt pulled out of an entire, when you see it live, it has a much greater impact," Scalia told C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb. "No, I am sure it will miseducate the American people, not educate."

The conservative justice said that if the American people watched the court proceedings "gavel to gavel" they would understand "we're not usually contemplating our navel, 'should there be a right to this or that, should there be a right to abortion'... That's not usually what we're doing. We're usually dealing with the Internal Revenue Code."

However, Scalia said that people wouldn't watch proceedings in their entirety.

"Your outfit would carry it all, to be sure," Scalia said to the C-SPAN founder, "but what most of the American people would see would be 30-second, 15-second takeouts from our argument, and those takeouts would not be characteristic of what we do. They would be uncharacteristic."

Members of Congress have long said cameras in the courtroom would add more transparency to the democratic process. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, first introduced legislation that would allow cameras in the Supreme Court in 1999. After that, the Supreme Court began releasing audio, after the fact, of oral arguments.

Some congressmen and news outlets asked the court to televise its proceedings in the case considering the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, given the historic nature of the case, but the court rejected the request.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.