Cameras in the PA Supreme Court

By Brittany Hundzynski, Contributing Writer

Standing L-R: Justice McCaffery, Justice Baer, Justice Todd, Justice Orie Melvin. Seated L-R: Justice Saylor, Chief Justice Castille, Justice Eakin

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the oldest continuously sitting high court in America, is finally joining the 21st century by opening its courtrooms to cable television coverage.

The Inquirer reported, after several tests over a six-month period, the seven-member court in June voted to allow judicial coverage of arguments but did not announce the action publicly until August.

Under an exclusive agreement with Pennsylvania Cable Network, which has been petitioning the court since 2006 to allow its cameras in, the arguments will be taped for broadcast later.

Pa’s highest court plans to record the first oral arguments session Tuesday, in a chamber in Old City Hall, Philadelphia – the first time the justices have used the room since 1802.

The cases to be heard include one involving the state’s use of an $800 million surplus from a fund that helps doctors pay medical malpractice premiums to balance the state budget in 2009.

The Supreme Court is using the historic courtroom as a part of a commemoration of Constitution Week, which runs through Saturday.

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