You would not think that a constitutional law argument before the justices of the Supreme Court the stuff of engaging nights in the theatre. Stories of lawyers presenting their legal positions and members of the Court challenging and clarifying what they hear may be the high light of a bar association dinner but plainly for laymen the prospect is an invitation to snooze.
The justices themselves have so little confidence in the entertainment value of their public face that the Court continues to resist televising its proceedings. They fear oral argument will be too technical and that the assumptions and premises behind those arguments are so opaque that the public will receive an unfavorable impression of what the Court does and how it does it.
Even worse, there are justices who believe that if arguments are televised, some of their colleagues will play to the crowd, either dumbing down the questions they ask or show boating for the camera. All of this adds up, some argue, to a Court that could become even more politicized than it is; enough reason to override any benefits in public education likely to come from a more transparent justice system.