Fix the Court joined with nine leading media and pro-transparency organizations today to urge Chief Justice John Roberts to provide audio recordings of oral argument in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole and U.S. v. Texas on an expedited (i.e., same-day) basis.
The former case, on abortion rights, and the latter one, on the validity of President Obama’s executive action on immigration, are to be argued in March and April, respectively. The court’s current practice is to release audio files of the hearings on Friday.
“Millions of people will be impacted by how these cases are decided,” the groups wrote in the letter, “and we believe the public should hear the justices and attorneys grapple with the subjects at the soonest available moment.”
“We understand that oral argument is but a small portion of what goes into a case,” they continued. “Yet it is also one of only two opportunities, the other being an opinion announcement, for which members of the public, no matter where in the country they live, may hear directly from the justices, and we believe they should be afforded that opportunity the day a case is presented.”
FTC executive director Gabe Roth added:
While many in Washington engage in interminable guessing games about who the next justice or the next President may be, our government’s work continues, as the Supreme Court will soon hear cases on hotly contested issues like abortion and immigration.
Since the justices refuse to allow the vast majority of Americans to experience their work in real time as modern technology affords, Fix the Court is joining with leading media and pro-transparency organizations to call on the justices to release expedited audio, so the public does not have to wait until the end of the week to hear the justices and attorneys grapple with these subjects.
The letter’s co-signers are:
- American Society of Magazine Editors
- American Society of News Editors
- Association of Alternative Newsmedia
- Demand Progress
- National Press Photographers Association
- Radio Television Digital News Association
- Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
- Society of Professional Journalists