Supreme Court

Supreme Court Transparency Watch: No More Same-Day Audio, Wait Until Friday You Impatient Jerks


The good news is that the Supreme Court will now make audio recordings available online for every one of its oral arguments. The bad news is that our friends in black won't even consider releasing same-day audio for high-profile cases. As the Associated Press reports:

Beginning with the new term next week, the court will post audio files of each week's arguments on its website Friday. The court has for several years put the argument transcripts on the site within hours of the arguments.

Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said Tuesday the justices have decided they will no longer entertain requests from broadcasters for the same-day release of audio recordings. Last term, the justices rejected every broadcaster request.

Too bad. And I guess this means we won't have cameras in the Court anytime soon. Here's why we should:

NEXT: Strange Brew

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  1. Why is Thomas all the way off to the side? Racist!

    1. No, Thomas IS the racist. Plus, he’s an Uncle Tom.

  2. And why are the ladies standing? Chivalry is dead, I tell you.

  3. If the audio is not live, then a few days late doesn’t make much of a difference. In fact, the Friday release will give the punditocracy the whole weekend to assemble their sound bites and talking points for the following week’s chatter.

  4. Everyone knows that the real hot lawyer-on-lawyer action is in the briefs. they should have a Taiwanese news company animate those and put them on line.

  5. Douchebags.

  6. Whatever. SCOTUS can organize its affairs however it wants. I can’t imagine how live streaming anything will improve the quality of its work product.

    What matters is in the opinions; the oral arguments are mostly a chance for everyone involved to preen and puff their egos.

  7. And to think we’re going to miss Kagan flashing her boobs in the long standing ‘new justice’s first day’ ritual. . .

    1. I’m pretty sure the hazing has something to do with paddles.

  8. What if you wear a camera on your in-camera motorcycle-helmet?

    1. Then your dog gets shot!

  9. If the written transcripts will still be available same-day, wouldn’t there be some sort of ADA argument against the audio version not being available at the same time?

    If I had a wheelchair, I’d sue somebody.

    1. Good idea, sue the Supreme Court. Maybe they’ll let you win.

  10. The audio is just as worthless as a video would be. In the history of the court it’s doubtful more than a half dozen cases were decided because of the oral arguments, if that.

  11. Could reason do a video on why video is worse than text to distribute information when most of their traffic occurs during work hours? I can understand doing interviews on video, but typing down arguments so people can read them is far superior.

  12. I’m okay with this provided that the justices and, better still, the clerks, are all allowed–nay, encouraged–to tweet during oral arguments.

  13. I live in Florida. We have cameras in the courtroom. We also have elected judges. Hooray, hooray, right?

    No. Our judiciary is shit. Give me no cameras for grandstanding, and unelected judges any day. It is such a relief to get to Federal court as compared to state court.

    The idea that maximum openness and democracy always produce the best results is naive. It doesn’t.

  14. Go watch Judge Judy.

    The last thing this country needs is more grandstanding and posturing, on the part of justices or litigants. We’ll have cases selected for review based on who Clarence Thomas wants to PWN.

    This is such a bad Idea. Be ashamed, Reason, be very ashamed.

  15. Well, it used to be that if special same-day release wasn’t ordered, you had to wait until the following *June* to hear the audio. And, at least in recent years, they basically never granted same-day release. So, although this may be symbolically at least in part an anti-transparency move, from a practical standpoint, I’d much rather be able to hear every argument within 4 days of it happening (and well before the opinion is filed) than be able to hear at most 1 or 2 argument a year on the same day, and the rest of them 2 to 8 months later…

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