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Chief Justice acknowledges RTNDA offer

Responding to efforts on the part of the Radio-Television News Directors to open the high court to radio and television news coverage, U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts Jr. has written association president Barbara Cochran acknowledging an RTNDA offer to help the court if it chooses to explore opening proceedings to electronic coverage.

In a letter dated Nov. 17, Roberts expressed appreciation for the association’s offer of assistance and comments about the occasional release of audiotapes of oral arguments.

Cochran has focused attention on gaining access to federal courts for electronic news media. Last month, she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to endorse legislation to open federal civil and criminal courts to radio and television microphones and cameras.

Cochran characterized the response for the chief justice as “a positive sign” and said she was encouraged by Roberts’ decision to release audiotape of oral arguments in two pending cases before the Supreme Court.

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