One of Iowa’s U.S. senators says he’s introducing legislation today (Wednesday) that’s designed to bring the federal judicial system into the 21st century. Republican Chuck Grassley says he’s again going to appeal for passage of his bill to put television cameras in federal courtrooms.
Grassley says "I’ve been pushing this legislation for many years. We’re making some progress. Obviously, it’s still not law. With a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives, I think that there’s more of an inclination to move in this direction."
Grassley says having cameras in courtrooms at the state level for many years has been a successful venture and it should be translated to the federal courts. He says "The bill would let federal trial and appellate judges open their courtrooms to broadcasters, just like 48 states including Iowa do, and Iowa’s been doing this for about 30 years and it’s worked very well there." Grassley says passage of the legislation would make the federal court system more open, adding, "Openness improves public understanding." He says the cameras won’t interfere with proceedings and if they do, the judges will have the option of having the cameras switched off in extreme cases.