High court blackout



A U.S. Supreme Court justice was quoted as saying the current session that began this week would be a “whirlwind.”

The session has also been described as “momentous” given the very serious nature of the weighty issues that need to be decided.

One of the cases under review involves the charge of illegal legislative gerrymandering in Wisconsin by the GOP.

At every level and branch of government, television cameras are allowed entry to broadcast or record meetings, news conferences, and the like.

The U.S. Supreme Court is the exception, sticking to its arcane practice of banning cameras and other modern technology.

The many who are interested in the proceedings are left to depend on reporters in the courtroom who listen to the arguments, questions, and answers, take notes, and then use certain quotes for their stories.


Breaking news has to be rushed to live crews waiting outside the court building, often by interns who make a mad dash with printed court rulings in hand in an effort to get the news of a decision on the air or published first.

This session of the court will be quite significant. Nevertheless, despite the public’s assured high interest, they’ve been shut out.

Sorry public radio fans. I don’t trust Nina Totenberg to be completely objective in her reporting. I’d relish the opportunity to watch and listen for myself.

I agree with this op-ed piece that appeared in the LA Times this past June.

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