Hamptons Legal – The Daily Detail

News, Service & Small Practice Management

Will the Supremes Go Live?

Posted by pbsweeney on January 30, 2007

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation that will require the Supreme Court to permit television coverage of open Supreme Court proceedings, unless a majority of the Justices determine that the due process rights of one or more litigant would be violated.

The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Russell Feingold (D-Wiss.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas).

This is Spector’s third attempt at getting this legislation through. In 2005 his bill never made it to the floor for a vote. At the time he was quoted as saying: “In the context where the Supreme Court decides, really, the cutting-edge questions of our day, it’s very much, in my view, in our interest to have the Supreme Court televised.” In 2000 the Senator co-sponsored a bill with Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) that went nowhere as well.

With more than half the Justices on the record opposing the idea, it should be interesting to see how the debate unfolds, particularly surrounding questions on the separation of power between the the Legislative & Judicial branches of government.

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