9th Circuit ready for close up




For the first time a federal appeals court will live-stream its proceedings. San Francisco's liberal 9th Circuit is opening up its proceedings to Internet viewers — starting Monday.

Most courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, ban the use of cameras, either for still photography or video recording, although CNN and other media have sometimes been allowed to record high-profile appeals. Among the televised cases: appeals involving California's same-sex marriage ban, government electronic surveillance, affirmative action and international terrorism.

Now, 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski says it's time to "open the court's doors" wider, "so that more people can see and hear what transpires … in regard to some of our most important cases." Beginning Monday, five appeals will be available online, including a privacy case testing whether police can keep DNA profiles of criminal suspects, even though charges have been dismissed.