Starting next week, the Supreme Court will release audio recordings of oral arguments on Fridays. Since 1955, the Supreme Court has released audio recordings of oral arguments to the National Archives at the end of each term. Those recordings are theoretically available to the public, although as a practical matter the best way to listen to Court proceedings is via the website The Oyez Project. This new policy will make the recordings available to the public much more quickly, but still delayed several days after arguments take place.
Last year, the Sunlight Foundation called upon the Supreme Court to revisit how it makes available online, including adding contemporaneous releases of audio recordings, publishing all amicus and merits briefs, and much more. The Court redesigned its website this past March, but still has much more to do in terms of content and design before it meets the needs of the public. We welcome this small step forward.