9th Circuit Ready for a Close-up

Get a ringside seat to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals starting December 9, when the court will stream a week of oral arguments over the internet.  This is the first time a federal appeals court has allowed live streaming video of arguments for internet viewers.

And it will start with a bang.  The first case on Monday is a challenge to the collection of DNA from arrestees.

A three-judge panel originally said no, but after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that DNA collection was no different than fingerprinting or photographing suspects, the 9th Circuit agreed to reconsider.

This will be a rare 11-judge review, known as an en banc hearing.

In the past, a few court arguments have been broadcast live by cable news networks and television, but this is the first time the court is providing live internet coverage to video streaming.

Between December 9 and 11, the court will broadcast five cases, each with 11-judge panels.  Along with the DNA case, the hearings include: a civil rights violation claim by a family accusing Anaheim policy of excessive deadly force during a traffic stop; the challenge of a criminal defendant convicted for sexual abuse of a minor and a criminal conviction for being a deported alien found in the U.S.

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said, “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.”

The court hears only about 20 en banc appeals a year, out of thousands of cases.

Find the link to video streams here.

A list of all  pending en banc cases: here.


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