Supreme Court To Release Audio of Arguments in Citizens United To Media And National Archives


In an uncommon move, the U.S. Supreme Court will release audio from today’s argument in Citizens United v. FEC shortly after arguments have concluded. There is no live broadcast. Citizens United is a major campaign finance case; Sunlight filed an amicus brief, available here.

Based upon the Supreme Court’s September 4, 2009 press release, available from SCOTUSBlog but not yet and on the Supreme Court’s website, the audio recording will not be directly made publicly available by the Court on its website. (Audio recordings thus far have never been made available on the Court’s website.) Instead, the recording will be offered to broadcasters via the network pool and made available to press at the House and Senate Radio and Television Galleries. The audio recording will also be made available to the public through the National Archives. I have a phone call in to the National Archives to find out when and in what formats the recording will be made available. Under usual circumstances, it takes several weeks for the Archives to have a copy available for public inspection.

Audio recordings are usually made publicly accessible only after the end of the Term when the Court transfers its recording to the National Archives. The Oyez Project, a multimedia project dedicated to the Supreme Court and unaffiliated with the National Archives, publishes  recordings of arguments before the Court online.

Update: Oyez expects to have audio available online later today, 9/9/09.

Update 2: Here’s a transcript [PDF] of the argument, available from the Supreme Court.

Below the fold is the text of the release.


For Further Information Contact: Kathy Arberg xxx-xxx-xxxx

The Supreme Court will release the audio recording of oral argument in the following case on an expedited basis: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, scheduled at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 9, 2009. A total of 80 minutes is allocated for oral argument. The audio recording will be released shortly after the conclusion of the argument.

Sources for the oral argument audio recording will be as follows:

  • The audio recording will be provided to the network pool, which will in turn provide an offsite, simultaneous feed to member news organizations.
  • The audio recording will be made available in the House and Senate Radio and Television Galleries at the U. S. Capitol on Capitol Hill DA #9. Only press holding proper Congressional credentials will be allowed in the Galleries.

Playback of the audio will be provided as soon as possible following the conclusion of the oral argument. The recording of the argument will be played in its entirety one time only. The feed of this recording is intended for broadcasters only. Contact ABC News at (xxx) xxx-xxxx for more information. The recording will be made available to the public through the National Archives. Please contact Mark Meader of the National Archives at (xxx) xxx-xxxx.