Senators, Media Groups Seek Televised Coverage of Health Reform Ruling
Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) sent a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts this week asking the Supreme Court to televise its ruling in the case against the federal health reform law, Politico reports.
In the letter, they argued that having a few cameras in the court during the ruling, which is expected in late June, would be "barely noticeable." They added, "Permitting the nation to watch the proceedings would bolster public confidence in our judicial system and in the decisions of the court" (Lee, Politico, 6/19).
The high court previously has refused to allow cameras into the courtroom because of concerns that they would distort the process because "lawyers -- and maybe even justices -- would be tempted to play to the cameras," according to USA Today's "The Oval" (Madhani, "The Oval," USA Today, 6/19).
However, court decisions are typically less visual than oral arguments, with the justice who wrote the majority opinion reading a short passage aloud, followed by the court's decision, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports (Baker, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 6/19).
The senators' request comes after about 50 media outlets and media advocacy groups last week sent a letter to Roberts asking the court to permit cameras and audio recording of the decision ("The Oval," USA Today, 6/19).
In addition, the Senate Judiciary Committee -- of which both Grassley and Leahy are members -- earlier this year approved a bill (S 1945) that would require the Supreme Court to allow live televised broadcast (O'Keefe, "2chambers," Washington Post, 6/19).
Despite the requests, it is unlikely the high court will permit television cameras in the courtroom, according to "The Oval" ("The Oval," USA Today, 6/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.