Thursday, July 2, 2020
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Senators urge Supreme Court to make live broadcasts permanent

Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Patrick Leahy are calling on the Supreme Court to keep up dwell broadcasting of oral argument audio after the coronavirus shutdowns finish.

The Iowa Republican and Vermont Democrat wrote on Friday to Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts to reward the audio livestreams of arguments this month, and the 2 Judiciary Committee members additionally need the chief justice to push for dwell video broadcasting.

“We write to urge the Supreme Court to make permanent its recent efforts to increase transparency during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing live audio streams of all oral arguments commencing with its October 2020 term,” wrote Sens. Grassley and Leahy. “Moreover, we urge the Court to build upon these measures by providing live video access to arguments as well—a commonsense reform that has enjoyed longstanding bipartisan support in Congress.”

When the Supreme Court resumed work amid the coronavirus shutdowns nationwide, the justices allowed dwell broadcasts of oral arguments to be accessible to the press for the primary time in its historical past. Previously, the Supreme Court would usually make transcripts of the arguments publicly accessible on the identical day as an argument with the audio accessible later within the week.

Lower federal courts and state courts used dwell video and audio broadcasts properly earlier than the coronavirus shutdowns. Some courts have continued the dwell broadcasting follow throughout the coronavirus outbreak to incorporate livestreaming their arguments made by way of videoconferencing platforms resembling Zoom.

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