When the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of California’s same-sex marriage ban, the proceedings were taped for broadcast. But, as of now, there will be no TV cameras at the Supreme Court this year when the justices hear arguments on whether the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

That’s because no oral arguments in the nation’s highest court are televised. Nevertheless, the Coalition for Court Transparency has written to Chief Justice John Roberts asking that the court make an exception for the marriage arguments.

“While the cases affect millions of people’s everyday lives, only those present in the courtroom that day will get to see and hear the oral arguments as they happen,” the letter says.

We’ve long supported televising all arguments in the court. We find utterly unpersuasive the claim that cameras in the courtroom would impel grandstanding. Histrionics are mostly wasted in appellate courts, where there is no jury, and lawyers ham it up at the risk of alienating the judges who hold their clients’ fate in their hands.

The other claim is that broadcasters will air sensationalized sound bites. But that already happens when the court releases same-day audio from high-profile cases. For example, coverage of arguments about the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality endlessly recycled Justice Antonin Scalia’s comparison of an insurance mandate to a law requiring people to buy broccoli.

If the justices won’t allow TV cameras at all oral arguments, they should at least televise the marriage arguments. This would not only offer Americans an up-close view of a historic hearing but also would test the justices’ assumption that cameras would change the nature of their work.