Sen. Sessions blocks bill that would force cameras in Supreme Court for health care arguments

Durbin, who authored the Cameras in the Courtroom Act along with ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), said it was time the Supreme Court abandon its "antiquated rules" banning cameras and follow the lead of Congress where every moment of floor action is broadcast on C-SPAN.

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"It's time for the Supreme Court to provide more transparency in more areas," he said. "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."

"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.  

But Sessions, who is a former ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, exercised his privilege to object on Wednesday, saying that the Congress ought not intervene in the affairs of the "third and equal branch of government."

"We can't dictate to a coequal branch how to conduct their judicial process," said Sessions. "[T]hey are supposed to be insulated from pressure in order to allow them to dispassionately decide complex issues."

Sessions then objected, preventing the legislation from reaching the floor and likely ensuring that it will not move in the Senate before next week's landmark testimony on the Supreme Court law.