NEFAC, Media Organizations Demand Same-Day Access to U.S. Supreme Court Audio Recordings

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |


The New England First Amendment Coalition joined a group of media organizations today to demand quicker access to the audio recordings of oral arguments in several upcoming U.S. Supreme Court hearings.

The court is scheduled to soon hear three cases addressing nondiscrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and three cases about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival plan.

In an Oct. 3 letter drafted by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and sent to all U.S. Supreme Court justices, NEFAC and other free press advocates argued that:

“There is a strong interest nationwide in closely following these proceedings as they occur, in as close to real-time as possible. The Court’s usual policy of releasing audio recordings of oral arguments at the end of the week on which they are heard will impede journalists’ ability to provide same-day coverage of the arguments to readers, viewers, and listeners who rely on the news media for information about these crucial issues of significant public interest.”

Giving the public and press live access to legal arguments in these cases will promote accountability, transparency and an informed electorate, the groups wrote.

“The Supreme Court is the ultimate people’s court and there is a strong public policy and, indeed, constitutional imperative that the the people be permitted to observe its proceedings in matters of abiding public interest,” they added.

NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.

Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Please make a donation here.

Major Supporters of NEFAC include Hearst Connecticut Media Group, the Barr Foundation, The Boston Globe, WBUR and Boston University.