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Sotomayor switches vote on courtroom cameras

It seems that Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor has joined the majority on an issue that has been before the U.S. Supreme Court for years.

While Sotomayor once said she’d had positive experiences with allowing cameras in the courtroom – a move strongly opposed by many of her colleagues on the bench – she now seems to be having second thoughts.

“I think the process could be more misleading than helpful,” Sotomayor said, speaking at a recent event in New York, according the New York magazine.  Folks trying to use oral arguments to glean how justices are leaning in a particular case will likely get it wrong, just based on the nature of how the Court works, she said.

“Every Supreme Court decision is rendered with a majority opinion that goes carefully through the analysis of the case and why the end result was reached,” she said. “Everyone fully explains their views. Looking at oral argument is not going to give you that explanation. Oral argument is the forum in which the judge plays devil’s advocate with lawyers.”

Sotomayor and the other justices return from their winter break to conference privately today, and oral arguments resume on Tuesday.

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