More than a dozen members of Congress are pressing the Supreme Court to provide live audio of its upcoming decisions on gay marriage and ObamaCare.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyBipartisan lawmakers target judges' stock trading with new bill Another voice of reason retires Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter MORE (R-Iowa), along with 15 Democrats, lamented that the Supreme Court “remains almost completely closed from the public eye.”
“We look forward to a debate about the merits of permitting cameras in the court. In the meantime, the court should immediately permit live audio broadcasts of its proceedings,” the group wrote in a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts sent Wednesday.
They said the court has proven it has the capability and pressed the justices to let the public “hear in real time the arguments and opinions that will shape our society for years to come.”
A spokesman for the court did not respond to a request for comment.
The court is reaching the end of its term with seven more decisions to hand down. The court quickly posts the decisions on its website once they are handed down. But the justices, at times, read portions of the decision and dissent from the bench — available live only to those in the courtroom.
In recent years, the court has released same-day transcripts and audio recordings of oral arguments at the end of the week. In the gay marriage case, it made an exception and released the audio on the same day.
“These efforts demonstrate that the court has the capability to release live audio,” the letter reads.
For years, lawmakers have pressed to open up the courts to audio and video recording to no avail. Lawmakers in both chambers have also unsuccessfully pushed bills that would force the court to allow the technology.
“People may disagree on the outcome of any given case, but we can all agree that the American public is better served when all three branches of our government are transparent and accessible,” according to the letter.
The letter was signed by Sens. Grassley, Dick DurbinDick DurbinDemocrats face critical 72 hours Bipartisan lawmakers target judges' stock trading with new bill Manchin: Negotiators to miss Friday target for deal on reconciliation bill MORE (D-Ill.), Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar'Facebook Papers' turn up heat on embattled social media platform Omar, Klobuchar lead charge seeking Congressional Gold Medal for Prince Klobuchar: 'Facebook knew' it was hurting communities MORE (D-Minn.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Al Franken on another Senate run: 'I'm keeping my options open' Andrew Cuomo and the death of shame MORE (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Reps. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Gerald Connolly (D-Va.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosTwo House Democrats to retire ahead of challenging midterms Two senior House Democrats to retire Democratic retirements could make a tough midterm year even worse MORE (D-Ill.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.).