Fix the Court Seeks Same-Day Supreme Court Audio

Fix the Court, a group dedicated to greater access to Supreme Court arguments, has delivered a petition seeking same-day audio to two upcoming oral arguments, including one that could determine the fate of the Washington Redskins trademarks.

On Jan. 18, the court will hear argument in Lee v. Tam, which deals with an Asian rock band, The Slants, and whether its name, a recognized slur, can be trademarked. The other case Fix the Court wants audio from is Ashcroft v. Abbasi, about post-Sept. 11 detentions.

The D.C. Federal Appeals Court is currently considering the Washington Redskins case and could look to the Lee v. Tam case for direction.

Fix the Court says it delivered almost 1,000 petitions from people in all 50 states.

The court does release tapes of arguments weekly and issues same-day transcripts, but the group argues that the transcripts aren't always accurate and the public should have access to the arguments as soon as possible.

The group also points out that the Supreme Court is one of only three federal courts not to routinely release same-day audio, the others being the Tenth and Eleventh Circuits, though it says the latter has indicated it will start posting same-day audio later this year.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.