A bi-partisan group of legislators stood in front the United States Supreme Court on Thursday to introduce the Eyes on the Court Act of 2015. The law would require the United States Supreme Court and other federal appeals courts to broadcast video coverage of court proceedings.
Efforts to open up the most secretive branch of government have failed in the past, but advocates of the bill cite the current mistrust in the Supreme Court and the bipartisan support as reasons why the Eyes on the Court Act could garner momentum.
Additionally, the bill boasts an option for closing proceedings if the broadcast would “violate the due process rights of a party to the proceeding or is otherwise not in the interests of justice.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-New York), Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Virginia), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Illinois), and Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) back the bill.
“How is it possible that we can keep up with the Kardashians, but we cannot keep up with the Supreme Court?” Rep. Nadler asked at the press conference in front of the Supreme Court.
Gregg Leslie, legal defense director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court, also attended the press conference. Leslie told the audience studies have shown that cameras do not affect oral argument participants.
The Second and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have already successfully implemented broadcasting oral arguments.