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House Members Put New Eyes on Court

A quartet of House members are introducing a new, bipartisan, cameras in the court bill.

The Eyes on the Court Act, which is being introduced on the steps of the Supreme Court Thursday (Oct. 8)—the court began its fall session Oct. 5—would allow cameras in the Supreme Court and all federal appellate courts.

Introducing the bill are Reps. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Ted Poe (R-Texas).

Also on hand for the bill's introduction and rally for action on the court steps will be Gabe Roth of Fix the Court, a group that advocates for more transparency, generally, from the Supreme Court.

There have been numerous legislative attempts to get cameras in the federal courts, but none have surmounted the arguments about separation of powers and ultimately the reluctance to dictate Supreme Court process.

C-SPAN, which is another long-time proponent of cameras in the courts, released a poll in June that found that 76% of respondents said that the High Court should allow TV coverage, which is up 15 percentage points from a June 2009 survey.

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.