Cams in federal courtrooms?

The Daily Record Newswire
Legislation that would give chief judges in federal trial and appellate courts the right to decide whether cameras would be allowed in court proceedings has been advanced by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Sunshine in the Courtroom Act, S. 410, was passed by the committee on a 12-6 vote.

"Cameras in federal courtrooms are at the very heart of an open and transparent government, and would contribute to the public's understanding of America's judicial system," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who wrote the legislation. 

"Greater transparency leads to greater accountability, which is something our federal government can always use more of."

The measure would also instruct the Judicial Conference to issue nonbinding guidelines judges can use in making the determination of whether to allow courtroom sessions to be videographed, photographed, broadcasted or recorded.

It would require the Conference to establish mandatory guidelines for obscuring vulnerable witnesses, such as undercover officers, victims of crimes and their families.