WASHINGTON DC (May 29, 2020) — Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) today pressed the US Supreme Court to continue allowing the real-time transparency it’s adopted during the pandemic even after lockdowns are lifted. In that same spirit of transparency, the lawmakers renewed their push to also allow live video coverage of court proceedings.
“Given this widespread support for access to our nation’s highest court — and the countless contributions it makes towards the civics education of the American public — there is no reason why pro-transparency measures should end when the Court returns to its normal functions,” the sens wrote in a letter today to Chief Justice John Roberts.
“We urge you, Mr Chief Justice, to consider our request and bear in mind all those who would benefit most — including our democracy itself — from these simple yet meaningful measures of transparency,” they continued.
The court recently began allowing live audio streams of oral arguments conducted via teleconference following pandemic-induced lockdowns. The unprecedented live audio feed broadened access to real-time proceedings far beyond the Court’s limited seating capacity even in normal times. The move sparked widespread praise from transparency advocates and the general public.
Sens Grassley and Leahy have long sought greater transparency from the Supreme Court. In 2018, they pushed for same-day access to audio of oral arguments. Grassley has championed legislation granting live video access to Supreme Court oral arguments.
Full text of Grassley’s and Leahy’s letter to the Chief Justice at link: https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/2020-05-29%20CEG%2C%....