The Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced this week that its Sept. 13 session in
Philadelphia, which will include oral arguments on the state’s controversial new Voter ID law and the second legislative redistricting plan, will be broadcast live on cable television.
In a statement released by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, the high court said its upcoming session, which will be held inside its fourth-floor Philadelphia City Hall courtroom, would be broadcast beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN).
Those who would like to watch the session in person will encounter limited seating, and observers will be admitted on a first come, first serve basis, the court stated.
The Supreme Court has been allowing its sessions to be taped and aired on PCN as a pilot program to bring cameras inside the courtrooms.
Cameras are still prohibited in the state’s trial courts.
Currently, only the high court’s proceedings are taped, although in the past they have been aired at a later date.
The upcoming session will mark the first time the high court has allowed oral arguments to be aired live on television.
The Pennsylvania Cable Network is the state’s version of C-SPAN.
The Sept. 13 session is expected to draw interest given that the justices will hear the appeal of the Voter ID law.
The controversial legislation, which requires voters to present a photo ID at the polls, was upheld as constitutional by Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson during a recent ruling.
Attorneys with the ACLU of Pennsylvania and other civil rights lawyers who filed suit on behalf of minority, elderly and poor voters who claimed they would be disenfranchised by the law, quickly appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed last week to hear the appeal in an expedited fashion given the pending general elections.
The high court will also address the state’s second legislative redistricting plan; the justices had ruled that a previous redistricting plan was unconstitutional, causing lawmakers to scramble to draw up new legislative maps.