Please click the link above to read the whole thing. Here's the intro:
In the era of instantaneous 24-hour news, two of the most important and newsworthy events of the year just occurred: The president’s former campaign manager went to trial, and on the same day that the jury split its verdict, the president’s former personal lawyer pleaded guilty to federal crimes and implicated the president in the process. Shockingly, the public did not see any of it.
We were not able to see the government’s main cooperating witness, Rick Gates, and judge for ourselves whether he was telling the truth or lying. We were not able to see the lawyers debate about important legal issues related to the special counsel’s office. We were not able to see Michael Cohen’s expression as he told the judge that he broke the law at the instruction of the president of the United States.
Forget about cameras, reporters in the Paul Manafort trial were not even permitted in the courtroom with their phones, tablets or computers. That meant no live reporting on Twitter and no emails to the newsrooms with updates. In a world focused on information and news as it happens, this is unacceptable.
If this trial or the plea hearing took place in any state court in the country, or if related hearings were held by Congress, the public would have the benefit of watching what was happening, either live or on their DVRs or on the nightly news. They would be able to follow instant reports on social media. In other words, the public would have access to the courtrooms, as guaranteed by the Constitution. And there could be no allegation that the reporting was “fake.”
If there was a vote on whether cameras should be allowed in our federal courthouses, it would pass — overwhelmingly. In fact, the only group of people who seem to be against cameras in the courtroom are federal judges.