House Judiciary Committee Votes for Live Streaming of U.S. Supreme Court and Circuit Court of Appeals Oral Arguments

The House Judiciary Committee, by a voice vote, advanced the Judiciary Reforms, Organizational and Modernization Act of 2018, known as “the Judiciary ROOM Act.”  The bill number is H.R. 6755.  Among many other things, along with adding new District Judges in a number of Districts (including three in the District of New Jersey– hooray!) and requiring that all federal judges, including Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, undergo periodic medical examinations, the Judiciary ROOM Act requires the phase-in of live streaming of oral arguments in the Supreme Court and the Circuit Courts of Appeal.  There is an exception for cases where the courtroom is closed.

The Supreme Court of New Jersey has live-streamed its oral arguments since January 3, 2005, as discussed here.  The question of whether Supreme Court of the United States oral arguments should be able to be viewed in real time has been debated for years.  The Judiciary ROOM Act would be a step forward in this regard.  Whether that legislation will become law, however, remains to be seen.