The Idaho Supreme Court [official website] announced Friday that on Monday it will begin streaming video of all oral arguments held in Boise live for the public to see. The live videos [AP report] will be available on the court's online calendar [official website] for free and will be streamed via Idaho Public Television's Idaho Legislature Live [official website], which already broadcasts sessions of the Idaho Senate and House of Representatives [official website]. Although the court will only be broadcasting oral arguments held in Boise for now, this may change in the future.
Allowing cameras in courtrooms is a controversial issue that courts have debated about over the years. In 2006 US Supreme Court [official website] Justices Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy spoke [JURIST report] at a US House Appropriations Committee Meeting against a proposed bill that would have permitted public broadcasting of Supreme Court oral arguments. The justices believed having cameras in the courtroom would harm the nature of the court's proceedings and did not believe that Congress should interfere with the way another branch of government operates. US Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer also debated [JURIST report] the topic the previous year during an American Bar Association [official website] event. Only Kennedy seemed receptive of the idea, arguing that it may be helpful to future litigants who go in front of the court. The other justices worried, however, that cameras would degrade the institution and it proceedings.