One, a survey commissioned by the Coalition for Court Transparency to assess perceptions about transparency at the U.S. Supreme Court, reveals that the public strongly wants to see more of the high court in action.
As noted in the Legal Times, “seventy-four percent of the respondents favored live camera access and 72 percent said the court should at least allow the broadcast of audio of oral arguments and other public court proceedings.” Those polled also overwhelmingly wanted more financial disclosure by the justices – who they rated negatively and suspected were rendering opinions based upon personal or political views.
State court systems didn’t fare much better — at least those in states where, like North Carolina, judges have to campaign for their seats on the bench.
As the executive director of Justice at Stake Bert Brandenburg notes in this Politico piece:
A recent survey showed that an overwhelming 87 percent of Americans fear that campaign cash is affecting decisions in the courtroom. Even more chilling: A poll by the National Center for State Courts and Justice at Stake shows that nearly half of state judges agree. “It’s pretty hard in big-money races not to take care of your friends,” said retired West Virginia Chief Justice Richard Neely in 2006. “It’s very hard not to dance with the one who brung you.”