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Best Kept Secrets of the Judiciary

NCJ Number
Judicature Volume: 73 Issue: 6 Dated: (April-May 1990) Pages: 341-343
T O'Brien
Date Published
6 pages
An ABC News law correspondent reflects on the judicial system and the need to enhance public awareness and understanding of the work of courts and judges.
The correspondent notes misconceptions about lawyers, the Supreme Court, and news organizations. He also discusses liberal and institutional bias in news reporting. He emphasizes that the American people do not seem to know very much about the legal system and particularly about the Supreme Court. An American Bar Association Task Force on Outreach to the Public has suggested two parallel campaigns to inform the public better, one directed at the news media and the other at the nation's school system. Public education about the legal system is an area where many State bar associations have taken a leadership role. Courts should try to use the media to their own advantage, and the Supreme Court should consider giving reporters advance notice of what decisions it plans to announce. Cameras should be allowed in the Supreme Court, further serving to enlighten the public about the workings of the judicial system.