Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Republican National Committee Splices SCOTUS Audio To Attack 'ObamaCare'

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, March 28 2012

For years, the Supreme Court has fought calls to put cameras in its court room, one of the lines of reasoning being that television networks and others would distort the proceedings underway at the court by distributing soundbites.

"Justices use oral argument to develop their thinking in a case. Cameras will alter the dynamics of oral argument. Televising oral argument to millions, rather than presenting it just to those in the courtroom, will make lawyers and justices guarded in their exchanges. It will also lead them to think about their images as well as their arguments," wrote Nancy S. Marder, a New York Times reader to the editor last December in response to an article by the paper's legal reporter Adam Liptak "Supreme Court TV? Nice Idea, but Still Not Likely."

Liptak's article itself, about the likelihood of the Supreme Court allowing cameras in to open up the oral arguments over the constitutionality of the Obama administration's healthcare law, is a fascinating read.

As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg pointed out in a July 2011 speech, like law professors in class, the Justices often use absurd hypotheticals to probe an issue before them. Liptak speculated that the Justices' fear of the soundbite is rooted in the fear of these kinds of questions being taken out of context.

On Wednesday, the Republican National Committee confirmed the Justices' suspicions in part -- not by excerpting their remarks, but by excerpting the audio of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, whose performance at the court on Tuesday was widely panned on CNN, online and on Twitter.

The committee released a YouTube video with the audio of Verrilli nervously making his argument and repeatedly taking sips of water as he proceeded. They titled the video: "Obamacare: It's a tough sell."

News Briefs

RSS Feed monday >

After Election Loss, Teachout and Wu Keep Up Net Neutrality and Anti-Comcast Merger Campaign

The Teachout/Wu campaign may have lost, but their pro net-neutrality campaign continued Monday as both former candidates participated in a rallly in New York City marking the final day to comment on the Federal Communications Commission's Internet proposals and kept up their pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo. GO

friday >

NYC Politicians and Advocacy Groups Say Airbnb Misrepresents Sharing Economy

A coalition of New York election officials and affordable housing groups have launched an advocacy effort targeting Airbnb called "Share Better" that includes an ad campaign, a web platform, and social media outreach. GO

First POST: Data Dumps

The Internet Slowdown's impact on the FCC; Uber drivers try to go on strike; four kinds of civic tech; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Positive Sums

How Teachout won some wealthy districts while Cuomo won some poor ones; DailyKos's explosive traffic growth; using Facebook for voter targeting; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Emergence

Evaluating the Teachout-Wu challenge; net neutrality defenders invoke an "internet slowdown"; NYC's first CTO; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

De Blasio Names Minerva Tantoco First New York City CTO

Mayor Bill de Blasio named Minerva Tantoco as first New York City CTO Tuesday night in an announcement that was greeted with applause and cheers at the September meeting of the New York Tech Meet-Up. In his remarks, De Blasio said her task would be to develop a coordinated strategy for technology and innovation as it affects the city as a whole and the role of technology in all aspects of civic life from the economy and schools to civic participation, leading to a "redemocratization of society." He called Tantoco the perfect fit for the position as a somebody who is "great with technology, has a lot of experience, abiltiy and energy and ability to create from scratch and is a true New Yorker." GO

First POST: Fusion Politics

The Teachout-Wu Cuomo-Hochul race as it comes to a close; more criticism for Reddit as it prepares a major new round of funding; First Lady Michelle Obama as an Upworthy curator; and much, much more. GO

More