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C-SPAN Seeks to Cover Health Care Appeal in High Court

C-SPAN has asked the Supreme Court to allow it to televise oral arguments in the challenge to the president's health care reform law, likening it in importance to the Bush v. Gore case in 2000, when the court did agree to the release of same-day audio tapes of the argument.

The High Court this week agreed to hear the health care appeal, likely by the end of first-quarter 2012.

In a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts Tuesday, copied to the other Justices, C-SPAN said that it would provide the live feed to any others in the media who wanted it.

C-SPAN pointed to the fact that the court was planning five-and-a-half hours of argument as a sign of the significance of the case, and pitched the request as a "supplement" to the court's regular end-of-the-week audiocast release of arguments and as a further reflection of the importance of the case.

"It is a case which will affect every American's life, our economy, and will certainly be an issue in the upcoming presidential election," C-SPAN argued.

In case the obtrusiveness of the cameras is an issue -- which has been raised by some Justices in the past -- C-SPAN pledged to work with the court to make sure that the equipment was "unobtrusive and respectful of the process."