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U.S. Supreme Court

A Senator and C-SPAN Ask Supreme Court to Allow Cameras for Health Law Arguments

Posted Nov 17, 2011 8:24 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to allow cameras to broadcast oral arguments in March when the justices consider the fate of the Obama administration’s health care law.

C-SPAN and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, made the request in two separate letters, according to The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times and CBS News. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has issued a statement that also supports the broadcast request.

"The constitutional questions presented in the case are momentous," Grassley wrote in his letter. "The public has a right to witness the legal arguments." The senator first introduced legislation to allow cameras in 1999.

The BLT observes that the camera request “may be a quixotic campaign.” It cites “a long history of unsuccessful media requests to the Supreme Court for television coverage of high-profile cases.” The Supreme Court does release audio tapes of arguments, though they aren’t made available until the Friday after the cases are argued. In compelling cases, however, the tapes have been released the same day, according to a press release by Grassley.

Recent prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Ex-Senator’s Op-Ed Backs Televised Arguments as Way to Improve Supreme Court Popularity"

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