Judge Juan Merchan must order them to be published daily

Shortly after Acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan announced the final day of jury selection for Donald Trump’s criminal prosecution Friday afternoon, the New York County Criminal Court’s Electronic Document Delivery System sent an e-mail at 5:22 a.m. -email notification of receipt to attorney Jim Walden that his application had been received.

So that means that this weekend Merchan will have before him the formal request from the citizen group Common Cause New York and the news website New York Focus to order that the court transcripts of the Trump trial that starts tomorrow be published every day on the website of the state are placed. Office of Court Administration.

The papers filed by Walden and Deanna Paul of the firm Walden Macht & Haran LLP make the same argument that regular readers have been seeing in these columns for a year: that the enormous public significance of this case requires full transparency and since New York is actually alone among the states that ban cameras and microphones from courts, full availability of transcripts is a requirement.

Notice we said “public interest” instead of “public interest.” There is a lot of public interest in Taylor Swift or how the Rangers and Knicks will fare in the playoffs, but America’s first-ever criminal trial of a former president (and possible future president) is much more important. It’s important to the entire country, and courtroom 1530 at 100 Center St. only has room for a handful of spectators.

Trump says he can’t get a fair trial, that Merchan and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg are out to get him. We don’t agree with that, but there are plenty of Trump fans who agree with his position, so let them see what exactly is happening in room 1530.

We also know that there are many Americans who don’t like Trump and who want to closely follow the only one of his four criminal trials that could take place before the election. Show them again what exactly is happening in room 1530.

The Daily News has top-notch correspondents who cover the action in the courtroom and beyond, as do our competitors and colleagues at other news organizations, from print to the Internet to broadcast. The reporting on these printed pages and on our website will be very valuable (same for our competitors), but there should be more.

We’ve made the analogy before about the difference between reading a column or news story about a baseball game (which is what Daily News sportswriters excel at) and watching the entire game on TV or listening to it on the radio. Both press coverage and the entire scope of the proceedings are needed together, both on the football field and in the courtroom.

There were three government-employed court stenographers for each of the four days of jury selection last week. Each has an annual salary of more than $130,000 and each may pocket proceeds from the sale of the transcripts to the legal system for use by Merchan, Bragg’s lawyers, Trump’s lawyers and the assembled press, including The News. That’s an insane system, but still, after the stenographers are paid, Merchan should publish the transcripts.

Lawyers Walden and Dean do this pro bono, Latin for ‘for the public interest’. Public transcripts are a public good.