C-SPAN asks Supreme Court to allow cameras for healthcare case

C-SPAN is asking the Supreme Court to drop its ban on cameras in the courtroom when it hears arguments over President Obama’s healthcare reform law.

The high court has scheduled five and a half hours of oral arguments in the healthcare case, the longest hearing in decades. The lengthy hearing serves to underscore what’s at stake as the Obama administration braces for the possibility that its signature domestic achievement could be ruled unconstitutional just months before the 2012 election.

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“We believe the public interest is best served by live television coverage of this particular oral argument,” C-SPAN chief executive Brian Lamb said Tuesday in a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts. “It is a case which affects every American’s life, our economy, and will certainly be an issue in the upcoming presidential campaign.”

The Supreme Court has never allowed televised arguments. It releases transcripts for every case and audio recordings of high-profile arguments.

Lamb said allowing TV coverage of the healthcare arguments could be a one-time exception.

“We ask you and your colleagues to set aside any misgivings you have about television in the courtroom in general and permit cameras to televise live this particular argument,” he wrote.