Justice Scalia (2nd from right) is drooling at the chance to legislate from the bench.

This is the greatest thing to happen to democracy in the 21st Century: 11 minutes of mostly silent footage of dogs dressed up in justice's robes sitting on a set designed to look like the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver created this footage, and they explain why in this short clip:


They don't allow cameras inside the Court, you see, which is why we've never seen a Supreme Court case on cable news. Justices like it this way, since they get left out somewhat from the craziness of the news cycle, but average citizens don't get to see what really goes on in the highest reaches of the Judicial Branch of government. 

To bridge this gap, Last Week Tonight created this 11-minute b-roll segment that would allow cable TV to broadcast oral arguments as if they were live (and the Supreme Court Justices were dogs). Try it now. Press play on this video of the dogs sitting in court, then press play on the video below it at the same time:

Here is the recording of the oral argument in United States v Windsor, the case which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Playing this with the video above should give you an adorable reenactment of social progress.

I, for one, hope this compromise works out for those who want cameras in the court. I want more transparency as well, but I don't like the idea of Fox News being able to edit judges' snippets to launch a witch hunt against Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What I do like is a lot of very serious looking people watching a lot of very serious looking dogs on television and then having very serious arguments about what the very serious dogs are saying.

Sources: Last Week Tonight | Supreme Court