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We Support the D.C. Circuit's Decision to (Temporarily) Stop Live Audio

Fix the Court executive director Gabe Roth released this statement following the conclusion of arguments today in the D.C. Circuit:

In May, Chief Judge Merrick Garland announced that his court would livestream the audio of all oral arguments ‘except when classified or sealed matters must be discussed.’

Today’s decision to livestream the first two hearings but stop the stream for the third – clearly a sealed matter, and likely one related to the Mueller investigation – shows that the court is making good on its policy to keep the public informed (live audio for the first two cases) except on the rare occasion when privacy concerns outstrip transparency interests (today’s sealed matter).

This should be a lesson to other courts contemplating modernizing their broadcast policies – that it can be done in a way that does not jeopardize the secrecy of proceedings deemed too sensitive for immediate public consumption.

The D.C. Circuit is one of only three federal appeals courts to have allowed live audio. The Fourth and Ninth Circuits are the others.

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