No Television Coverage Of SCOTUS ObamaCare Hearings
Not surprisingly, the Supreme Court has denied requests made by C-Span and other media organizations to televise the oral argument in the lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act:
The Supreme Court said Friday it will not break with tradition and allow television cameras into the courtroom for historic arguments later this month on the constitutionality of the nation’s health-care overhaul.
Instead, the court will release same-day audiotapes of the arguments, which are scheduled to consume six hours over three days, March 26 to 28.
In a press release, the court didn’t actually address the requests it has received to televise the arguments, which came from media organizations and members of Congress. Instead, it simply said that audiotapes and transcripts of the sessions would be available.
“Because of the extraordinary public interest in those cases, the Court will provide the audio recordings and transcripts of the oral arguments on an expedited basis through the Court’s Website,” the press release said.
The court has never allowed cameras in the courtroom or live broadcasts of its proceedings. The Senate Judiciary Committee last month approved a bill that called for televising the Supreme Court’s arguments. But it faces an uncertain future in part because of separation-of-powers concerns about whether one branch of the government may dictate how another conducts its business.
“The Court will post the audio recordings and unofficial transcripts as soon as the digital files are available for uploading to the Website,” the release said. “The audio recordings and transcripts of the March 26-28 morning sessions should be available no later than 2 p.m. The recording and transcript of the March 28 afternoon session should be available no later than 4 p.m.”
This is similar to the procedure the Court use several years ago in the District of Columbia v. Heller gun control case, and at least it will allow for a more immediate evaluation of the various arguments and the Justice’s reaction to them. Like I said, this is not an entirely surprising decision, the Court has never allowed cameras before and it’s unlikely they will any time soon. It would have been an interesting show to watch, though.