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Senate approves bill to televise Supreme Court

Judiciary Committee passed the bipartisan bill 11-7

Are you ready for Antonin Scalia coming live to your living room in HD?

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to televise Supreme Court proceedings. The committee voted 11-7 to send the measure to the entire Senate for consideration.

If passed, the bill would require television coverage of all of the court’s open sessions unless the justices decide by majority vote that airing the session would violate due process rights of those involved.

A similar bill also was approved by the committee last year, but never became law.

The justices have never been in favor of allowing cameras in the courtroom, calling the possibility disruptive. Others, however, contend that television coverage would be a boon and would help foster public scrutiny of important issues. This is particularly true in regard to President Obama’s health care bill, about which the court is expected to begin hearing arguments next month.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, petitioned the court in November 2011 to broadcast the proceedings surrounding the health care bill.

“The constitutional questions presented in the case are momentous,” Sen. Grassley wrote in a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts. “The public has a right to witness the legal arguments likely to be presented in the case: (1) the constitutionality of the individual mandate; (2) the severability of the individual mandate and whether or not the remainder of the law is valid without the mandate; and (3) the authority of Congress to impose mandatory Medicaid coverage thresholds on states.”

For more, read Reuters.

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