SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court that meets in San Francisco and other Western cities will soon stream some of its hearings live over the Internet, the court announced on Monday.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it plans to broadcast its en banc proceedings starting with five cases scheduled for oral arguments between December 9 and 11. It is believed to be the first time a federal appellate court will broadcast live video of a proceeding, said court spokesman David Madden.
An en banc court is used to resolve legal conflicts between 9th Circuit judges that are deemed of great importance. The court hears about 20 such cases a year.
"The Ninth Circuit has a long history of using advances in technology to make the court more accessible and transparent," 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said in a statement. "Video streaming is a way to open the court's doors even wider so that more people can see and hear what transpires in the courtroom, particularly in regard to some of our most important cases."
The court currently posts video of en banc proceedings online after the hearing. It is also one of only two federal appellate courts to allow news cameras in the courtroom, according to Madden.