Will SCOTUS Have To Embrace Livestreaming At Last?
March 19, 2020
GET WITH THE PROGRAM|
“The coronavirus pandemic is forcing all courts to alter their procedures, but the US Supreme Court, imbued with an archaic, insular air and a majority of justices over age 65, will face a distinct challenge to keep operating and provide public access to proceedings.” Joan Biskupic with CNN explains that now could be the time for SCOTUS to join the modern era and embrace the technology that can bring its public proceedings to the masses. She writes, “The justices for years have refused to televise hearings, livestream the audio from sessions or even provide recordings of oral arguments the same day they are held. The Supreme Court of Canada, meanwhile, has been webcasting its proceedings for more than a decade, some lower US courts livestream audio of arguments, and many US state courts allow live TV coverage. The virus is bound to force Supreme Court justices into new territory. They may open their operations in more modern ways. Or, if they move in the opposite direction and shun any high-tech alternative, they might postpone all previously scheduled March and April oral argument sessions, a total 20 disputes, until next summer or fall.”
I GOT THE POWER|
As California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut provide guidance to keep individuals from bars, restaurants, movie theaters and more, Elizabeth Joh writes in POLITICO that yes indeed these states and local governments have the power to close private businesses. “States—and their cities and counties by extension—possess what has long been known as a ‘police power’ to govern for the health, welfare and safety of their citizens. This broad authority, which can be traced to English common law and is reserved to the states by the 10th Amendment, is far from radical; it justifies why states can regulate at all. The police power of the states has been invoked on multiple occasions by the Supreme Court, often in contrast to the limited powers of the federal government—for example, in CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS’ opinion in the 2012 Obamacare case. This power also has been recognized in the context of public health for decades. In a 1905 Supreme Court case that upheld mandatory smallpox vaccinations, the court observed that ‘upon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.'”
NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES|
Tony Mauro with The National Law Journal interviewed Cate Stetson who will soon complete here 100th oral argument before state and federal courts. She discusses with Mauro how she prepares for arguments and why so few women argue before the Supreme Court.