It’s official: for the seventh and final time this term, the Supreme Court has turned down a request from the media for same-day access to the audio of its oral arguments. C-SPAN and other broadcast networks had requested the audio for today’s oral argument in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, an important church-state dispute that has attracted broad interest and amicus participation.
With the Court’s oral argument season ending April 28, that means the entire current term will end with none of the arguments being given same-day treatment — the first term since 2004-2005 in which no arguments were approved for immediate release. The Court first allowed for such release in high-interest cases with Bush v. Gore in 2000, to enable the press and the public to hear the arguments while they were still fresh and newsworthy. Without expedited release, the audio of oral arguments is not usually available to the public until several months after the end of the term, after processing at the National Archives — long after their news value has expired.
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