Published March 21, 2013
From OJ Simpson to Jodi Arias, television viewers are used to cameras in big criminal trials. A majority of American voters wants to be able to tune into the U.S. Supreme Court, too.
A new Fox News poll finds 77 percent of voters think it’s a good idea to allow television coverage of the high court’s sessions. That’s a record-high level of support for cameras in the court. It’s up from 69 percent in 2010, and up from a previous high of 70 percent in 2006.
In addition, this is one of those rare areas of agreement these days, as large numbers of Democrats (78 percent), Republicans (78 percent) and independents (72 percent) favor allowing television coverage.
Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy are not among the pro-camera crowd. During a recent congressional hearing they were asked about having cameras present while cases were being argued. Both justices expressed their opposition out of concern it would change how the court operates.
By a significant 72-25 percent margin, most voters think the courts have gone too far in taking religion out of public life. Groups most inclined to feel this way include: “very” conservatives (92 percent), white evangelical Christians (91 percent), Tea Partiers (89 percent), Republicans (84 percent) and regular church attendees (82 percent). Majorities of moderates (64 percent) and Democrats (62 percent) also agree.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,002 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from March 17 to March 19. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.