(WASHINGTON) -- Ruling on the health reform law is sure to be one of the most important Supreme Court cases of this generation, and the court has budgeted more than five hours for the arguments. When the court decides next year if the government can require every American to buy health insurance or pay a fee, they’ll make a decision that affects every citizen in the country.
But unless the court changes current policy, none but the few Americans able to score a ticket or stand in line will be able to watch the arguments.
C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb sent a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday asking him to permit the network to televise the health care oral arguments, which pit lawyers for 26 states against the federal government.
“We believe the public interest is best served by live television coverage of this particular oral argument,” Lamb says in the letter, and adds that the case “will affect every American’s life, our economy, and will certainly be an issue in the upcoming presidential campaign.”
No hearing at the Supreme Court has ever been televised. The arguments will be held at the end of March over 5 ½ hours. Lamb says the length of time “begs” for camera coverage. The chambers can seat up to 450, but that includes lawyers for both sides, the public and the press.
Each member of the Supreme Court was sent a copy of the letter.
C-SPAN made similar requests of lawmakers negotiating the health care reform law. While official congressional hearings were broadcast, many closed door negotiations were not.
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