In a historic first the Supreme Court will hear a case in which the exchanges between justices and attorneys will be broadcast live to the nation.
The justices have historically resisted live broadcasts of hearings claiming they don’t want to give undue attention to the live hearings which often have less impact on the final outcome than written briefs submitted by attorneys.
Activists have demanded the court allow live broadcasts for years but it took a pandemic to make it a reality, at least for now.
The pandemic has forced the nine justices — including progressive Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an octogenarian who has been in fragile health — to telework for nearly two months.
For Monday’s hearing, the justices will take part by telephone. But with no cameras involved, they won’t have to wear their traditional black robes.
“Over my dead body,” former justice David Souter once famously said about cameras in the courtroom.
To avoid confusion, the justices will speak in order of their seniority on the court, rather than in their usual impromptu fashion. Television viewers will only see photos of the justices on the screen, above their names.
The court has not said whether the bailiff will open the hearing with his traditional “Oyez, oyez, oyez” call for silence and attention.
The first case, to be heard starting at 10am (1400 GMT) Monday, will deal with whether the popular travel site Booking.com is allowed to register its name as a trademark — or whether that would be barred by federal law banning the trademarking of generic terms.
Over the coming two weeks, the court will hear arguments in nine other cases.
This does seem to be a good thing.
Greater transparency in government is almost always a good thing and this change will allow citizens to hear Supreme Court cases being argued without the filter of the mainstream media.
As we all know by now the mainstream media cannot be trusted to accurately report on politically charged topics so people need more access and transparency in their government institutions.
Author: Steve Straub
Source: The Federalist Papers: In Historic First Supreme Court to Allow Hearings to be Broadcast Live, Starting Today