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House Judiciary Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Transparency Shortcomings in Federal Courts

Broadcast, PACER access all the more important given broad interest in Ninth Circuit’s recent travel ban case

The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, IP and the Internet will hold a hearing examining judicial transparency and ethics at 10:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, February 14, in Rayburn 2141. Topics will include improving broadcast access to the federal courts system, including the U.S. Supreme Court; whether federal judges and justices should be required to modernize their ethics protocols; and ways to improve public access to court electronic records, known as the PACER system.

Witnesses will include:

– Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association; expert in First Amendment law and audio/video recording of court proceedings

– Charles Geyh, John F. Kimberling Professor of Law at Indiana University Maurer School of Law; expert in judicial ethics (op-ed on SCOTUS ethics here) and former HJC counsel

– Thomas Bruce, co-founder and director of the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School and renowned scholar on legal information modernization

Fix the Court executive director Gabe Roth said: “After Tuesday’s livestream of the Ninth Circuit’s travel ban case, a lot of Americans have been asking, why doesn’t the Supreme Court offer similar access? (There is no good answer.) I want to thank Subcommittee Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Nadler for calling a hearing dedicated to court transparency and accountability issues, and I’m hopeful the Senate Judiciary Committee raises similar issues in their forthcoming hearing with Judge Gorsuch.”

If C-SPAN chooses to cover the hearing live, Fix the Court will sent out a link as soon as it becomes available.

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