Monday, January 6, 2014

Court Hearing Utah's Same-Sex Marriage Appeal Lags in Public Access

The U.S. Supreme Court today stayed the federal district court's ruling in Kitchen, "pending final disposition of the appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit." The district court ruling had allowed same-sex marriage in Utah.

An argument in the potentially landmark case is coming to the Denver federal appeals court in the next several months.

The Tenth Circuit is one of only three holdout circuits that do not post argument audio online. The others are the Second and Eleventh Circuits, which make audio available via CD purchase. To get Tenth Circuit audio, you need to file a motion stating reasons for seeking access. If granted (which I have been told happens routinely), the court emails an mp3.

Perhaps the Tenth Circuit will make an exception with Kitchen or, perhaps, see this as an opportunity to join most of its sister circuits and post audio online.

Today, the access-leading Ninth Circuit began live streaming audio of all arguments and recently began live streaming video of all en banc arguments.

Links to audio from the ten circuits that post online and the Supreme Court are here.

Appellate Daily has done a series of posts advocating for greater public access to oral argument audio, including Before Supreme Court TV, How About This?, back in 2010. Several circuits have increased access since that time.