By Prof. Timothy R. Johnson, Jerry Goldman
The country's best criminal journalists touch upon and learn the most very important oral arguments in fresh courtroom historical past
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Extra info for A Good Quarrel: America's Top Legal Reporters Share Stories from Inside the Supreme Court
Although hardly the stuff of commercial prime time, gavel-to-gavel coverage would be invaluable to lawyers, law students, judges, and countless other Americans who care deeply not only about the issues on which the Court decides but also about the Court itself. A few years ago, I asked one of the Court’s leading opponents of televised coverage if he would still object to television coverage if only C-SPAN broadcast the hearings and the arguments were not made available to the commercial TV news media.
Not only did the ABC af‹liate have lots of it, the demonstrations—particularly the racist taunting at the initial civil rights demonstration—had made national news, and ABC News’s tape library contained ample video. Getting video of the Nationalist Movement and its leaders turned out to be substantially more problematic. The Movement is headquartered in rural Mississippi, about thirty miles west of Jackson. The attorney of record on the brief was Richard Barrett, who, it turns out, was also the group’s chief executive of‹cer.
Among the many, many unspoken laws of oral advocacy shattered by Newdow that day, the following were only the most notable. 1. Thou Shalt Not Insult the Integrity of the Judiciary in Advance of Oral Argument. Even before he showed his face at the Court, Newdow shocked Court watchers and even the justices themselves by ‹ling 13 14 | a g o o d q ua r r e l an almost unheard-of motion seeking the recusal of Justice Antonin G. Scalia based on the justice’s public remarks before hearing the case. Newdow not only overtly and publicly questioned Scalia’s ability to hear the case impartially but also succeeded in getting the usually intransigent justice to stay off the case (“Scalia Attacks” 2003).
A Good Quarrel: America's Top Legal Reporters Share Stories from Inside the Supreme Court by Prof. Timothy R. Johnson, Jerry Goldman