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Grassley, Durbin introduce bill for cameras in the U.S. Supreme Court

Sen. Charles Grassley and Sen. Dick Durbin introduce a bill to put cameras in the United States...
Sen. Charles Grassley and Sen. Dick Durbin introduce a bill to put cameras in the United States Supreme Court during open sessions.(Source: CNN)
Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 2:43 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWQC) - Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced legislation to require open proceedings of the United States Supreme Court to be televised. According to a news release, the bipartisan Cameras in the Courtroom Act would require the high court to allow television coverage of all open sessions, unless a majority of the Justices vote that by doing so would constitute a violation of the due process rights of one or more of the parties involved.

“Decisions made by the Supreme Court can resonate with our nation for generations, yet most Americans will never have a chance to see the highest court in action. Opening up the Supreme Court’s public proceedings to cameras and other broadcast tools provides a window into the court for all Americans, not just those in Washington, D.C.,” Grassley said.

“This bipartisan bill shines a light into the judicial branch of government so more than just a few hundred lucky Americans can watch proceedings in the Court’s historic halls,” Durbin added.

Live audio streaming of the Supreme Court’s oral arguments during the COVID-19 pandemic has been successful, but the Court has not indicated whether it intends to maintain this policy once it is able to conduct in-person proceedings again.

The Cameras in the Courtroom Act only applies to open sessions in which members of the public are already invited to observe in person, but often cannot because there are a very limited number of unreserved seats in the courtroom.

Thursday’s bill introduce coincides with “Sunshine Week,” a national initiative aimed at promoting the importance of open government and freedom of information.

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