The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal is allowing live streaming of an oral argument for the fourth time this week, in a case involving a challenge to Canada’s federal carbon tax. The event has reignited discussion about moving cameras into the trial courts. While this story’s headline suggests that the discussion is more developed than it actually is, it is nice to see increased recognition that courtroom cameras typically carry more benefits than risks.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will begin live audio streaming of its oral arguments when its new term commences in September. Chief Judge Merrick Garland made the announcement. D.C. joins several other circuit courts that have recently embraced streaming technology in the interest of improved transparency.
I wonder if anyone at One First Street is paying attention.
This morning, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit permitted a live audio feed of an oral argument in Garza v. Hargen, a case involving whether the government should allow an undocumented teenage immigrant to obtain an abortion. It was the first live broadcast in the D.C. Circuit since a 2001 hearing in the Microsoft antitrust suit. Chief Judge Merrick Garland permitted the live stream in response to a request from the transparency group Fix the Court.
Although the argument itself has come and gone, the audio is available on the court’s website.
The Fourth Circuit’s openness to live streaming comes in the wake of significant public interest in the Ninth Circuit’s live stream of similar arguments in February. More the 137,000 people logged on to hear those arguments.
From the National Law Journal story:
Rob Rosborough, a partner at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna in Albany, New York, added that he was “impressed by how accessible it made the proceedings seem in a highly technical case like that one.”
“You could hear phenomenal attorneys on both sides advocate for their clients on issues that had an impact on millions of people nationwide,” Rosborough said. “I do think that the Fourth Circuit, and all courts, should livestream arguments in all cases, especially in cases like the travel ban that have drawn such public interest.”
The Fourth Circuit has not live streamed arguments to date, although it does post audio files of arguments on its website the day after they are held.