Senate leaders are urging the Supreme Court to shatter precedent by allowing live TV coverage of the high court’s anticipated ruling on the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s health-care reform package.
But media industry representatives aren’t holding their breath waiting for the high court to lift its historic ban on live coverage.
“They (the Supreme Court justices) just don’t like the idea of cameras at all,” Gregg Leslie, legal defense director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, told TheWrap on Tuesday.
In a letter Monday to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked the chief justice to open the high court to live television coverage for the Obamacare case.
“We believe that the issues in the case are as important and consequential as any in recent Court history,” the two lawmakers said in their letter. “Given the fundamental constitutional questions raised and the effects the decision will have, the Court should be aware of the great interest Americans have in the outcome of this case.”
A Supreme Court spokeswoman did not return requests for comment.
But Leslie said many of the court’s justices have made clear their opposition to allowing TV coverage over the years.
Among the chief arguments against allowing cameras into the high court’s inner sanctums have been that TV coverage might encourage grandstanding by attorneys and that the arguments in a case might confuse the public.
“We don’t think those are legitimate concerns,” Leslie told TheWrap. “We are in favor of access.”