Supreme Court to release same-day audio — in a single case. Oh, joy.

The Supreme Court has announced that it will release same-day audio of April 25’s oral argument in the travel ban case. Normally audio is not released until the end of the week, but in rare cases the Court has agreed to release it the same day.

Thus continues the Court’s counterproductive policy of keeping oral argument out of public view. We should be long past the days when the general public has to rely on the Court’s feigned generosity to be able to observe and hear arguments as they happen. A single camera in the back of the courtroom, live-broadcasting the arguments without additional commentary (something CSPAN perfected two generations ago), is all that is needed.

The ongoing ban on cameras forces reporters to take notes and rush to get information to the public after the argument has concluded. This compromises accuracy, undermines efficiency, and harms transparency — the key sources of the Court’s public legitimacy. When will the Court will finally out an end to this self-inflicted wound?

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