Durbin demands Supreme Court televise its proceedings

"In a democratic society that values transparency and openness, there is no valid justification for such a powerful element of government to work largely out of the view of the American people," said Durbin.  

"It's time for the Supreme Court to provide more transparency in more areas," he continued. "The Supreme Court should allow live television cameras to broadcast open court sessions so the general public can see first-hand how the court operates and arrives at critical decisions that literally change their lives."

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Durbin, who was speaking out in favor of the Cameras in the Courtroom Act, which he penned with with ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), pointed out that, like Congress, the Supreme Court is currently receiving extremely low approval ratings. 

In order for most Americans to view the Supreme Court, they must travel to Washington and wait in a physical line sometimes for hours, or even overnight, in order to obtain one of the 250 seats in the visitors gallery, Durbin pointed out. 

"Access to open sessions of the court is currently very limited and as a result the court's proceeding and the way it arrives at decisions are a mystery," he said. "Most Americans will never see the Supreme Court work."

Durbin called on his fellow Senate leaders to agree to bring the legislation, which recently cleared the Judiciary Committee, to the Senate floor. His calls for televised proceedings come as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments over the constitutionality of Democrats' landmark healthcare law.