The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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October 28, 2013

At Supreme Court, tradition trumps technology, and transparency


Alan Morrison, a George Washington University law professor and public-interest lawyer, had an incrementalist idea for bringing the court into the, well, 20th century: radio. The court's proceedings already are piped live into the lawyer's lounge at the court, he said. Why not simply send the audio out to everyone?

Starr seemed to be trying to recruit an influential ally to his cause: retired justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

He noted that O'Connor, who also opposed cameras in the courtroom during her tenure, has undertaken a massive project to improve civic education in the country. Access to the court's deliberations could only increase the public's knowledge of the court, Starr said.

The country's first female justice, Starr noted, has spoken of the pride she feels when she sits in the courtroom and sees three women emerge from behind the velvet curtains to take their places on the bench.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful for us all to be able to see that?" Starr asked.

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