Support Transparency and Put Trump Trials on TV

Target: Chief Justice John Roberts, Presiding Officer of Judicial Conference of the United States

Goal: Advocate for broadcasting of federal court proceedings to serve the public interest.

Donald Trump has been handed and arraigned for his fourth criminal indictment of the year. The latest case is unprecedented not only for its incrimination of a former president but also for its potential to be televised. Since the most recent indictment involving alleged election interference—which includes nearly 20 accused co-conspirators—comes out of Georgia, the trial (or trials) falls under that state’s purview. And Georgia, like other states that believe the public interest is served by fully transparent legal proceedings, has allowed cameras in the courtroom since the 1980s. This highly publicized case has renewed the debate about allowing similar permissions in federal courts.

As it stands now, cameras are prohibited in almost all federal cases. Two of Trump’s high-profile cases will take place in federal courts, so the public will not be allowed to follow these proceedings. Critics argue, however, that this case proves why the old rule should be abolished. These trials are centered on not only a former president but a potential future president. Voters are entitled to know the full range of facts about (and the possible criminality of) a leading candidate. Depriving the American people of this opportunity sets a dangerous standard where opaque secrecy prevails over objective and transparent assessment.

Sign the petition below to advocate for full transparency in the courtroom.


Dear Chief Justice Roberts,

According to some research, nearly three-quarters of Americans support televised coverage of the upcoming Trump trials. Bipartisan support was won for the Sunshine in the Courtroom Act, which would have greenlit televised coverage of federal proceedings. Many states have made a judgment call in favor of the public interest. The concept of cameras in the courtroom has even gained support amongst many judicial and legal professionals, including the Federal Judicial Center.

The right to a public hearing is baked into the Sixth Amendment precisely because it promotes transparency and accountability. Otherwise, disinformation and prejudice can and often will thrive. Do not deprive Americans of such an important asset during a watershed moment in legal history. Honor the moment and honor the rights of the public by allowing holistic access to and comprehensive coverage of its justice system at the federal level.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

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