Former Senate Judiciary Committee Chairmen Chuck Grassley (right) and Pat Leahy (left) wrote Chief Justice Roberts today urging the Supreme Court to continue livestreaming oral argument audio when the justices return to hearing cases in the fall.
“There is no reason why pro-transparency measures should end when the Court returns to its normal functions,” they write.
The pair cited our poll from earlier this month, noting that 83% of Americans supported the justices’ decision to conduct live remote arguments during the pandemic – and 70% want that access to continue in perpetuity.
The letter closes with two important points on the capacity of the court to go live and the quality of the arguments themselves.
The audio stream, the senators write, “clearly demonstrated [the Court’s] technical capability to provide prompt disclosure and transparency to the public.” And the two observe that “the business before the Court [during the May sitting] was conducted in as dignified and professional a manner as is witnessed inside the courtroom under more normal circumstances.”
FTC’s Gabe Roth reacted: “The letter shows how efforts to bring the Supreme Court into the modern era crosses party lines and that there’s a real appetite – down the block from One First Street and across the nation – to make livestreaming a permanent phenomenon. I look forward to hearing what the Chief Justice will have to say about this.”