Chapter 8 concludes with a summary of their findings and three recommendations for reform that Slotnick and Segal think might improve television coverage of the Court and its work.
Their three proposals are: First, the justices should make themselves more available to reporters with respect to illuminating their decision-making process. Second, the Court should make changes in its decisional calendar in order to avoid the "end of the term crunch. In other words, this problem is more apparent than real.
As for changing the decisional calendar in order to avoid the crunch at the end of the term: any change appears unlikely and, in any event, would probably not end the crunch in the last weeks of the term, precisely because of how the Court conducts its business and the process of opinion writing. Finally, opposition within the Court to having cameras in the courtroom has grown rather than diminished during the last decade.
Souter emphasized that only "over his dead body" would cameras be allowed into the courtroom. Historically, the Court has been slow to adapt to technological change, whether the introduction of typewriters, photocopiers, and computers into its building.
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The controversy over cameras in the courtroom, like the subject of television coverage of the Supreme Court itself, however, may well wane, becoming passe. In reviewing this book as an aging "baby boomer" who belongs to one of the first generations to grow up with television I am struck not by how television coverage has declined, but by how much less important television coverage of the Court has become over the last decade due to the Internet.
Williamette Law School provides to subscribers the service of emailing summaries of the cases granted and decided within hours of their announcement www. Political scientist Jerry Goldman provides the no less useful public service of putting the oral arguments in leading cases on his OYEZ site www. Alas, these are available only after the term is over. It, therefore, remains for the Court to make its oral arguments, like its decisions and opinions, available on the web via an audio feed in real time, and for them to be archived.
Television News and the Supreme Court: All the News that's Fit to Air?
In doing so, the Court would move technologically into the next millennium. The state supreme courts of Florida and Washington already do so. Regardless of when it does so, it is clear that the Internet--not television--will be the principal provider of news and commentary about, along with access to the work of, the Court in the next millennium.
The beaks, in turn, left political argy-bargy to parliamentarians and the scurvy hobgoblins of Grub Street. The prorogation of Parliament was precisely the sort of matter the lawyers left to politicians. We did not want our senior jurists to be open to pressure from ministers who might later offer them titles or jobs.
The moment there was a possible conflict of interests — of citizens being able to allege judicial bias — judges were moved off cases.
That happened in the late s, when Lord Hoffmann was one of the Law Lords considering the case against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Lennie Hoffmann had failed to declare that his wife worked for human-rights lobby group Amnesty International, which had long criticised Pinochet.
This is a country that voted to leave the EU and now sees a political establishment trying to block that. Brenda Hale has long been seen as a quintessential liberal blue-stocking. Fifteen years ago I saw Lady Hale at a Commons select committee hearing and wrote a mildly disobliging account of it for a national newspaper.
The British people can now question her motives in reaching that verdict. They might be interested, for instance, to learn that she has just been given a cushy position at an Oxford college run by Alan Rusbridger, former editor of the left-wing Guardian newspaper.
If Aereo wins at the supreme court and broadcasters pull TV off the air, so be it
Rusbridger is a prominent Remainer and he is a supporter of Gina Miller , who brought the Supreme Court case against the Government. Does that make it strictly political?
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The Brexit battle has electrified a previously indifferent electorate. After yesterday, alas, many people will suspect the Supreme Court of joining the forces of Establishment Remain. Oddly enough, Boris could benefit from this thudding legal intrusion on our politics. It makes him look more than ever like a refreshing outsider, a bold challenger to the hated status quo.
Television News And The Supreme Court: All The News Thats Fit To Air?
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