Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Page 1


Ninth Circuit to Unveil Argument Streaming Next Week


By JUSTIN LEVINE, Staff Writer


The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unveiled plans yesterday to provide live Internet video streaming of its en banc proceedings, starting next Monday.

Though broadcast and cable news networks have provided live coverage of Ninth Circuit proceedings before through television and the Internet, it does not appear that any federal appellate court has previously chosen to stream its proceedings on its own accord.

During its en banc hearings, the public will be able to access the live feed by visiting the Ninth Circuit’s website at and clicking on the link labeled “En Banc Video Streaming.” A press release issued from the court indicated that it was working with an outside Internet provider in order to ensure that sufficient bandwidth will be available for uninterrupted viewing.

The announcement marks a continued evolution in the court’s efforts to make its proceedings available to the wider public.

Since 2003, it has made digital audio recordings of its oral arguments publicly available on the day following scheduled hearings. Video recording capability was later added through the use of courthouse cameras, but such videos have traditionally been accessible only after the conclusion of arguments.

Starting in 2010, the court has offered live video streaming of its en banc proceedings to all of its affiliated courthouses, but has never offered such streams to individuals with home or office Internet connections until now.

“The Ninth Circuit has a long history of using advances in technology to make the court more accessible and transparent,” Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said. “Video streaming is a way to open the court’s doors even wider so that more people can see and hear what transpires in the courtroom, particularly in regard to some of our most important cases.”

The release noted that the Ninth Circuit is one of only two federal appellate courts to allow news media cameras in its courtrooms. Its guidelines allow the broadcast media to submit advance requests to cover any proceeding in open court unless otherwise prohibited by rule or statute.

Since the early 1990s, the court has granted more than 350 media requests for video and photo coverage, the release said. The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals adopted guidelines in 1996 allowing for similar camera coverage for civil, non-pro se matters.

As with the Ninth Circuit, the news media must provide advance notice to the clerk. En banc proceedings of the Ninth Circuit are held each quarter, primarily in either the Browning U.S. Courthouse in San Francisco or the Richard H. Chambers U.S. Court of Appeals Building in Pasadena.

The court will begin its live, en banc Internet streaming Monday at 2 p.m. when it hears the case of Haskell v. Harris. The appellants are challenging the denial of a preliminary injunction in a class action proceeding seeking to prevent law enforcement officials from collecting DNA swabs from any adult arrested for a felony.

Additional en banc hearings will be streamed live Dec. 10 and 11.


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