Fix the Court executive director Gabe Roth released this statement following news that the D.C. Circuit, led by Chief Judge Merrick Garland, voted unanimously to livestream all arguments starting next term:
The D.C. Circuit’s decision shows a roadmap for making argument audio more accessible that all state and federal appeals courts, including the Supreme Court, should follow.
First, start with same-day audio and see how that goes; next, move to live audio upon request; and finally, livestream audio for all arguments once a court and its judges feel comfortable with the technology.
Can and should all appeals courts livestream audio and video right now? Of course. It’s not difficult, and empirically, we know broadcast does not reduce the quality of arguments or access to justice. But given the speed at which federal courts move (see the famous SCOTUS plaza turtle at right), the D.C. Circuit roadmap seems prudent.
An updated list of circuit courts’ audio policies, as well as their video and wellness policies, can be found here.