Recording in federal courts reconsidered


Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday will reintroduce legislation that would allow recording devices in federal courts.

Under current law, cameras and tape recorders are not allowed in federal criminal or civil courts, keeping TV and radio news organizations out of such cases as the Oklahoma City bombing trial. Grassley and Schumer introduced nearly identical legislation in the last session of Congress and Schumer also was a primary champion for such a bill when he was a member of the House of Representatives.

There has been some headway made on the issue in recent months: last December, the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time allowed news organizations to air a taped transcript of its proceedings after the court heard oral arguments on the outcome of the 2000 presidential election.
- Paige Albiniak