It took a global pandemic to convince SCOTUS acknowledge we’re in the 21st century, where live broadcast technology has been ubiquitous for years, and finally begin permitting the livestreaming of oral argument audio.
It shouldn’t have taken the necessary public health-related closing of 1 First Street to convince the justices that live broadcast was required to meet their obligation to maintain open access. But better late than never.
The states are often referred to as “laboratories of democracy,” and when it comes to live public broadcast access to oral argument of their highest courts, the states have, by and large, figured it out. Their federal counterparts should take notice.
FTC law clerk Amanda Dworkin has been tracking how all 50 states have been approaching broadcast, and those findings are available at this link, which will be updated periodically.
Up next: state courts’ recusal policies.