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Judiciary Slates Court Camera Hearing

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday, Nov. 9, on cameras in federal courts.

Among those testifying will be Barbara Cochran of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, which has been one of the strongest advocates for allowing the tools of the electronic reporters' trade into federal courts. She will appear at the invitation of Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), one of the legislatures staunches advocates for cameras in courts.

Most states allow some form of camera coverage, but cameras are excluded from federal criminal and appellate courts.

RTNDA backs the Sunshine in the Courtroom Act, which has been reintroduced after failing to pass in 1999, 2001, and 2003.

The association has also been pushing specifically for cameras in the nation's highest federal court, including writing new Chief Justice John Roberts to offer any help in making that happen.