PHOENIX (AP) _ Television's ``Judge Judy'' Sheindlin believes cameras belong in courtrooms.

``Closed courts protect only the judicial bureaucracy or bad judges,'' she said Thursday during a visit to Phoenix.

``You are an American citizen, and each week a portion of your paycheck goes to the three branches of government, one of which is the judiciary,'' she said. ``You have every right to know what goes on in courtrooms.''

Sheindlin, who presided in New York's Family Court from 1972 through 1996, said her approach on TV is no different than when she was a real judge, except for one thing.

``Real life is much more interesting than TV,'' Sheindlin said.