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Media and Public Interest Groups Push Broadcast of U.S. Supreme Court Proceedings
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The court has long been reluctant to allow live or even delayed video broadcast of its proceedings. A group of media and public interest groups has been reported to have sent a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. urging him to allow the video recording and broadcast of U.S. Supreme Court proceedings. A video of Supreme Court proceedings appeared online last month on YouTube.

The Coalition for Court Transparency wrote in a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. that “We believe the Supreme Court should embrace contemporary expectations of transparency by public officials,” and that according to the Legal Times Justice Roberts also wrote that “Though the Supreme Court is in a unique position as the nation’s highest court, that status provides more reason to open its educational opportunities to a wider public, instead of making access more difficult.”


The group sent the letter to the court on the 50th anniversary of the 1964 ruling of New York Times v. Sullivan, which the group reported according to the Legal Times, “helped media outlets cover controversial topics of national import without fear of frivolous lawsuits.”

The groups in the coalition are Ethics in Washington, Citizens for Responsibility, the Liberty Coalition, Constitutional Accountability Center, the Alliance for Justice, the American Society of News Editors, the National Association of Broadcasters, Radio Television Digital News Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

According to the, The Liberty Coalition’s Michael Ostrolenk says, “At a time when the public’s confidence in the Supreme Court is eroding, and skepticism in secretive government institutions is high, putting cameras in the Court would be a simple way to help restore the Court’s image.”

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Chief Justice O’Connor said “By allowing cameras in to show the proceedings, the U.S. Supreme Court could play a significant role in fostering a greater public understanding about how courts work, especially appellate courts,” in a February speech.

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