Bravo to the Justices for the New Audio Policy

Jonathan mentions this below, and I wanted to emphasize it: The Supreme Court has announced that it will begin posting the audio of oral arguments on Friday at the end of each oral argument week.

I’m delighted, as you might guess from my prior blogging about this. The availability of audio recordings will make it a lot easier for Supreme Court geeks to follow the work of the Court. While being able to read the transcript was a major step forward, access to the audio provides the flavor and tone of the questions in a way that gives the listener an even better idea of what is happening.

I would guess that releasing the audio at the end of the week is a compromise designed to satisfy the Supreme Court geeks while minimizing the risk that the mainstream press will use the clips to report on the Court’s work. For law geeks, the transcript will tide us over until Friday when we can load the mp3s on our iPods for a weekend listen. For radio and TV reporters, on the other hand, the delay from an argument in the beginning or middle of the week until the audio is released on Friday will be so long that the clips won’t be nearly as newsworthy by the time they are posted.

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