U.S. Supreme Court

Kagan Has Second Thoughts on Televised Arguments

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At her U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Elena Kagan said she thought it “would be a terrific thing” to have cameras at oral arguments.

During an appearance at the University of Michigan Law School on Friday, Justice Kagan said she is having second thoughts, report AnnArbor.com and a press release.

“I have a few worries, including that people might play to the camera. Sometimes you see that when you watch congressional hearings,” Kagan said. Another worry, she said, is that a clip will be used out of context.

She also commented on low public opinion poll numbers for the court and possibly misplaced perceptions that the justices are political, according to the stories and the Detroit News.

Kagan said she is unsure if the low poll numbers are the result of an overall declining confidence in government or if they reflected views specifically about the court, according to AnnArbor.com. “I don’t want to discount the theory that there are feelings that the court has become politically divided,” but it’s not true, Kagan said.

“There is not a single member of this court, at a single time, who has made a decision, who has cast a vote, based on, ‘Do I like this president, do I not like this president? … Will this help the Democrats, will this help the Republicans?’ ” she said, according to the University of Michigan account. “It is just not the way any member of the court thinks.” Instead, decisions are based on different methods of decision-making, she said.

Kagan appeared for a dedication of a new academic building at the law school.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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