Public support for televising Supreme Court oral arguments is at an all-time high, according to C-SPAN, which just released a new poll on attitudes toward the High Court.
According to the poll, conducted in conjunction with researcher Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), 76% of respondents said that the court should allow TV coverage; that view is up 15 percentage points from a June 2009 survey, C-SPAN said.
A little less than half the respondents (43%) said they thought televising the proceedings would boost the public's respect for the process.
"Greater visibility from televised oral arguments may represent a path for the U.S. Supreme Court to better explain their decisions and also improve their image," PSB principal Robert Green said in announcing the results.
Most Americans also said they don't think holding a seat on the Court should be a lifetime gig. Only one in 20 respondents strongly favored the current lifetime appointment system, while 79% said they would prefer 18-year terms, with the possibility of reappointment.
The study was conducted July 1-6 among 1,201 adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.83 percent at a 95% confidence level.
C-SPAN has been one of the strongest voices for televising Supreme Court arguments, offering to provide the kind for unobtrusive window on the judicial branch that it has provided for the legislature. C-SPAN is a public service offering supported by cable operators nationwide.