Poll: Most want cameras in the Supreme Court

Anne Wernikoff

The vast majority of people support broad reforms to the Supreme Court, including allowing video cameras in the court and ending lifetime appointments for justices, according to a new poll released Wednesday. 

The survey conducted by the Democratically-affiliated Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Democracy Corps found 71 percent of people support allowing camera in the court to stream the oral arguments live. Another 70 percent would support assigning justice's a fixed term rather than a lifetime appointment. 

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Numerous groups, including C-SPAN, have called for the court to open itself up to cameras. But some of the justices have warned cameras could diminish nuanced oral arguments into sound bites. Earlier this year, a group snuck a camera into proceedings to record a protest against the court's decisions on campaign finance. 

Another 80 percent would support requirements for the justices to disclose, speaking fees, gifts and travel paid for by others on their financial disclosure forms. A smaller majority would support requiring the financial disclosure forms to be posted online. 

Every party supports the broad range of reforms with only small variation. Seventy-one percent of Democrats support cameras in the court, compared to 72 percent of independents and 69 percent of Republicans. 

Seventy-one percent of Democrats would support fixed terms, while 69 percent of independents and 72 Republicans feel the same. 

The survey also finds that six in 10 people believe the justices let their own political views sway their decisions, while only 36 percent believe they make their decisions based only on legal analysis. 

A Pew poll released Tuesday found 35 percent said the court is in the middle of the road ideologically, while 31 percent call it liberal and 25 percent call it conservative. 

Wednesday's poll also found 35 percent of people think the court is doing a good or excellent job, while 39 percent call its job performance fair. Another 24 percent call it poor. 

The Pew poll found the courts favorability rating has rebounded after falling to a near all-time low last year. Black support increased after falling to historic lows after the decision striking down part of the Voting Rights Act last June. 

Wednesday’s poll surveyed 1,004 people and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.