How About Live Audio, Your Honors?

According to a recent press release, the Supreme Court will release the Boumediene oral argument audio recording on Wednesday, very shortly after the conclusion of the argument. (My FindLaw column will preview the argument Wednesday morning. Read the column and then listen to the argument to hear how off-base my analysis proves to be!). Same-day audio for very high-profile cases is a nice idea, but here's a better one: Live audio for all oral arguments.

Without revisiting the argument over cameras in the Supreme Court, there is nothing to be said for delaying audio an hour or two after the argument has occurred, rather than providing a live feed to interested media outlets. Surely the 1920s technology is available to the Court, and any worries about jeopardizing the Justices' privacy or the risk of Justices and lawyers "hamming it up" either doesn't apply to pure audio or, if it does, applies equally whether the audio goes out live or delayed by one or two hours.

Admittedly, there may not be a very large audience for your garden-variety ERISA case, but surely that's true of a large portion of what's on C-SPAN too (not to mention Fox Business Channel or Knicks basketball).

Posted by Mike Dorf