Hill Debates Cameras in Court...Again

Pros and Cons Vetted of Yet Another Media Access Bill
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Among the issues being vetted in the lame duck session is the longstanding effort to get cameras into federal district and appeals courts.

Cameras have been allowed in state courts for years, but with the exception of two federal appeals courts — the ninth and second circuits — and a current test of cameras in a handful of federal district courts, not in federal court.

The latest effort is H.R. 917, the Sunshine in the Courtroom Act (H.R. 917), which would authorize federal judges in district and appeals courts to allow cameras at their discretion and with some exemptions — no showing of jurors, for example.

Efforts have been made periodically for years to pass legislation authorizing cameras. The latest effort is running Into the same roadblocks, which include opposition from the Supreme Court and the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Speaking for the conference at a House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet hearing on the bill Wednesday, Judge Julie Robinson advised the legislators to let the conferences' three-year test of cameras conclude next summer and it would come to a conclusion based on vetting that info.

Read more at B&C here