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Supreme Court should allow cameras

Jonathan Sherman in The New York Times: The reason the U.S. Supreme Court should allow arguments to be recorded and streamed is because its own First Amendment rulings inevitably lead it there.

In 1965, when just two states permitted cameras, Justice Potter Stewart, writing in the dissent for four members in Estes v. Texas, said that a law that “absolutely bars television cameras from every criminal courtroom” was “disturbingly alien” to the First Amendment. The notion that “there are limits upon the public’s right to know what goes on in the courts” was “an invitation to censorship.”

Justice John Marshall Harlan cast the deciding vote in Estes. “The day may come,” he wrote, “when television will have become so commonplace an affair in the daily life of the average person as to dissipate all reasonable likelihood that its use in the courtroom may disparage the judicial process. If and when that day arrives, the constitutional judgment called for now would of course be subject to re-examination.”

Surely, that day is here.

Christie pot stance risky

Jacob Sullum in Reason: In an interview with talk radio host Hugh Hewitt last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared that if he were president, he would "crack down and not permit" state legalization of marijuana.

By contrast, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, and Rick Perry all have said that states should be free to legalize marijuana without interference by the federal government.

If Christie thinks that promising to override state policy choices in this area will endear him to skeptical conservatives, he may be wrong about that.

According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last month, Republicans as well as Democrats agree with that the federal government should not try to suppress newly legal marijuana industries in states such as Colorado and Washington.

According to Pew’s numbers, 58 percent of them think pot should be legal, and 64 percent say the decision should be left to the states.

Federal student loan solution needed

Martin O’Malley in The Washington Post: The vast majority of students — 70 percent — are graduating with debt. On average, they’re carrying loan amounts big enough to buy a nice car or cover the down payment on a house. But instead of making those investments, or starting a family or a business, they’re struggling to keep up with student loan payments.

The result: Total student loan debt in our country is $1.3 trillion and growing. First-time buyers are purchasing a smaller share of houses, and people younger than 30 are starting a smaller share of businesses than at any time since the late 1980s. And the problem will only get worse. Although average tuition at a public four-year college has more than tripled over the past 30 years, a typical family’s income has barely budged.

One might ask how this nation fell from first in the world to 12th in producing college graduates. We did it one onerous student loan at a time.

Letting students refinance their loans and capping their payments would go a long way toward relieving the burden of student debt.

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