Interview with C-SPAN’s Mark Farkas
on May 21, 2010 at 3:05 pm
Last week I interviewed Mark Farkas, the executive editor of the new C-SPAN book The Supreme Court,Â which features transcripts of interviews with all nine of the sitting Justices, retired Justices Souter and O’Connor, and journalists and practitioners who cover the Court. Â The interviews first appeared in a video documentary filmed by C-SPAN last year, which Mark helped produce (see it online, in segments,Â here). Â It was the first media projectÂ in whichÂ all nine sitting Justices participated, as well as the first time that Justice Souter ever granted a public interview.
My interview with Mark is recorded in this seventeen-minute podcast:
At the fifteen-minute marker, Mark discusses C-SPAN’s requests for the Court to release audio recordings of oral arguments the same day as the arguments. Â The first request granted was in Bush v. Gore. Â C-SPAN has kindly provided us with a list of all of the requests it has made since then (twenty-one have been granted, with twenty-five denied).
Below the jump is a road map of highlights, with links to the parts of the video documentary we were discussing.
- 1:58–C-SPAN gets permission to interview all of the Justices
- 3:25–The story behind retired Justice Souter’s first-ever interview
- 5:33–Why Justice Souter didn’t want the interview to appear in the book: it wasn’t fair to other journalists whose requests he had denied during his whole career
- 6:10–Rare video footage of the chambers of Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, and Stevens
- 7:31–Off-limits places to the public: robing room, Justices’ dining room, lawyers’ lounge, conference rooms
- 8:42–Off-limits topics in the Justices’ interviews: all specific cases, and cameras in the Court
- 9:47–Justice Sotomayor’s call from President Obama (see it here)
- 11:11–Why Justice Scalia’s interview is two minutes long and the Chief Justice’s is thirty minutes
- 12:22–Interviews with Supreme Court journalists and practitioners: “They aren’t afraid to talk about the cases, and be more blunt about some of the personalities over there”
- 13:53–Interview with Lyle Denniston
- 14:39–C-SPAN’s unsuccessful requests for same-day audio releases from oral argument (again, here)
- 15:39–Cameras in the Courtroom: when, if ever, do you see it happening? (“the $64,000-question”)