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Supreme Court Hosting First Ever Live Webcast

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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For the first time in its history, the U.S. Supreme Court will allow a live broadcast from within the confines of the Supreme Court building.

Though cameras will not be allowed into the courtroom proper, the Court has permitted a live webcast of a Supreme Court Bar event honoring the late Justice Antonin Scalia from the Great Hall, the building’s main corridor. The hall, whose eastern end abuts the courtroom, is flanked on either side by busts of all former chief justices as well as frieze profiles of the great lawgivers. A half dozen former Scalia clerks, including Judge Jeffrey Sutton and former U.S. Solicitor General and Kirkland and Ellis partner Paul Clement, as well as Acting Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn will speak at the event. The bar will adopt a resolution honoring his legacy.

“The webcast announcement was a shock, though a much appreciated one,” said Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court, a watchdog group pushing for greater transparency at the Court. “I hope it is also a sign that the voices of reason and modernity are gaining acceptance inside the building.” (RELATED: SCOTUS Justice Acknowledges Value Of Court’s Hilariously Bad Ethics Rules)

“Fix the Court joins the many thousands of Americans who hope that the favorable reception to this technology will soon allow them to watch the justices in action without having to purchase an airline ticket and rent a hotel room, only to wait in line for hours, if not longer, in hopes of being let in to the courtroom,” he added.

The bar event will be followed by a special sitting of the Court in the courtroom itself. Gershengorn and Attorney General Loretta Lynch will deliver remarks before the eight justices. Chief Justice John Roberts will also deliver remarks on behalf of the Court. This portion of the event will not be broadcast.

The webcast will be hosted on the Court’s website.

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