Cameras to open window on Pa. Supreme Court

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will allow cameras in its courtroom for the first time.

    The Pennsylvania Cable Network, or PCN, is calling it “gavel-to-gavel coverage.”

    Chief Justice Ron Castille says the cases that make it to broadcast will be educational–even if they’re not all riveting.

    “Some of them will be fairly dull, like how many parts per million of mercury can you have in the pollution of an electric power plant, but then we also get death penalties, and you know, search and seizure cases,” he said.

    The  coverage is something Castille said he’s wanted to allow since the network started requesting permission to tape courtroom proceedings a decade ago.

    “We sit in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia in public session, but the courtrooms are small so this will be a wide-ranging modern way for all of the citizens of the state who can tune into PCN to see the Supreme Court actually doing its job,” he said.

    Not all court sessions will make it to broadcast. The court reserves the right to limit coverage to “ensure orderly conduct” and protect the rights of people involved in the court cases.

    The cameras will start rolling at the beginning of the Supreme Court’s September session in Philadelphia.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal