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U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Dist. 5) joined U.S. Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Ted Poe (R-TX) in introducing the Eyes on the Courts Act on Thursday in an effort to boost public access to federal court deliberations.
The bill would require that cameras be granted access to Supreme Court proceedings, as well as those in all federal appellate courts.
"The Supreme Court has begun a new term this week, yet television coverage of the court, which would give the public more access to their deliberations, is still not permitted,” Quigley said. “The American public is better served when all three branches of our government are transparent and accessible. It is time for cameras to be allowed in the courtrooms, and the Eyes on the Courts Act would do just that."
Poe said the public deserves better access to the U.S. Supreme Court.
”The Supreme Court is the most important court in the world," Poe said. "However, very few citizens have the chance to watch the court in action when historic lawsuits come before it,” Poe added. “This is because the seating in the courtroom is limited. monumental cases affect every single American, yet only a select group will be able to attend the hearing. Cameras, controlled by the court staff, would allow for greater access in the decisions made by the nine jurists in black robes. I know cameras can be placed in a courtroom without disruption because I was one of the first judges in Texas to allow cameras to film criminal cases."