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FTC Applauds Fourth Circuit for Live Audio of Travel Ban Hearing

RICHMOND, Va. – Fix the Court is pointing out that today’s audio livestream in the Fourth Circuit did not seem to be a distraction to the participating judges or attorneys and did not have any measurable impact on the proceedings.

“It’s a shame that the technology used for today’s hearing – which treated Americans to a serious, live discussion of the constitutional questions raised by the President’s travel ban – is only rolled out for special occasions,” FTC executive director Gabe Roth said. “Every circuit court – and even the Supreme Court – has the ability to provide real-time audio, and we know from experience that live audio in appellate proceedings, far from being a disturbance, instead highlights the important role that our courts play in our democracy.”

On March 27 FTC sent a letter to the First through Eighth, Tenth, Eleventh, D.C. and Federal Circuits requesting that they livestream argument audio in their most closely watched cases, as in addition to the travel ban EO, the constitutionality of the CFPB, the validity of certain voter ID laws and the routes of multi-state pipelines are all issues expected to be argued in circuit courts this year. Many of the circuits responded positively to our request, saying they’d look into implementing real-time audio.

While most federal appeals courts – save the Supreme Court and the Tenth Circuit – post argument audio within 24 hours of a proceeding, only the Ninth Circuit regularly posts a live online feed of argument audio.

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