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After FTC Request, Seventh Circuit Records Video for Arguments in Public Charge Case

Only third time the court has ever recorded video for oral argument

Just days after the Supreme Court granted an emergency stay to let the Trump administration’s controversial public charge rule go into effect nationwide, the Seventh Circuit heard arguments in a version of the dispute over whether the rule should be suspended in Illinois.

Unlike the Supreme Court, they allowed cameras in the courtroom. Watch the argument here.

The case has already generated buzz after Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a blistering dissent on Feb. 21, to which President Trump responded by calling for her and Justice Ginsburg to recuse from all cases related to hisadministration. Critics say the public charge rule would deny visas to poor immigrants.

The public has followed this litigation closely, and the Seventh Circuit’s decision to grant video access to proceedings allows people from Waukegan to Washington to more fully engage with the material. Cases like this demonstrate the need for increased access to the courts.

Despite the controversy, the judges and attorneys remained civil during arguments.

Chief Judge Diane Wood questioned the validity of the broad new guidelines for defining public charge, saying “getting one meal at a soup kitchen surely does not make you a public charge any more than I’m my neighbor’s responsibility if I have dinner over at his house.”

The other judges on the panel, Amy Barrett and Ilana Rovner, were more skeptical than Wood that the government had overstepped its bounds in drafting the new rule.

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