Grassley Weekly Video Address Print
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 16:19

Advisory for Iowa Reporters and Editors

Friday, November 18, 2011

During his weekly video address, Senator Chuck Grassley explains why the U.S. Supreme Court should allow video and audio coverage of upcoming oral arguments about the 2010 health care law. The law is massive in size and scope. The constitutional questions are landmark. Public understanding of both the health care law and the proceedings of a case before the Supreme Court would benefit from access to audio and video of the legal arguments that will be made. Grassley is Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for oversight of the federal courts. He is the former Chairman and Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over most of the 2010 health care law.

Click here for audio.

Here is the text of the address:

This week I asked the Chief Justice to allow audio and video coverage of the oral arguments made during the Supreme Court’s consideration of the challenges to the 2010 health care law.

This law is massive in size and scope.  Its impact is reverberating throughout America’s economy.  The constitutional questions are landmark.  The public has a right to hear the legal arguments.  It’s a tremendous educational opportunity, especially considering the way this controversial law was pushed through Congress.  It was very partisan, unlike previous legislation where major social policy changes were made with broad-based support.  And, so much about the policy changes and consequences from the 2010 health care law were unclear even to supporters when it was pushed through.

The first time I appealed for broadcast coverage of oral arguments before the Supreme Court was in 2000 in the Bush v. Gore case regarding the presidential election.  The request for audio was granted, and it was released immediately following the arguments.  I’ve sought to pass legislation allowing broadcast coverage of federal courtrooms for 12 years.

The issues with the 2010 health care law and this review by the Supreme Court of the United States emphasize the value and importance of public access to the courtroom.  Sunshine would shed light on the law and enhance understanding of the issues and important concerns.

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