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03.23.2003
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Justice Scalia: Free speech, except for media

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia banned broadcast media from an appearance he made in Cleveland last week. The occasion: An award to Scalia for his support of free speech!

In his remarks, Scalia didn't mention the media ban. He also refused to take any questions from reporters.

The City Club, who presented the organization's Citadel of Free Speech Award to Scalia, usually records speakers for later broadcast on public television. However, Scalia insisted on banning all television and radio coverage of his speech, the club said. "I might wish it were otherwise, but that was one of the criteria that he had for acceptance," said James Foster, the club's executive director.

Scalia also banned the media during an appearance last week at John Carroll University, also in Cleveland. There he spoke about the constitutional protection of religions, but also suggested that the government has room to scale back individual rights during wartime without violating the Constitution.

Cameras and recording devices are banned from the Supreme Court chamber, and Scalia, said a Supreme Court spokeswoman, prefers not to have camera coverage in other settings as well.

Scalia's ban on broadcast media "begs disbelief and seems to be in conflict with the (City Club's) award itself," said Terry Murphy, a C-SPAN vice president and executive producer. "How free is speech if there are limits to its distribution?"

For more information visit http://thomas.loc.gov.

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