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NYTimes Editorial Board Supports SCOTUSBlog Press Credential

SCOTUSBlogThe New York Times Editorial Board yesterday threw support behind the SCOTUSBlog live feed securing a press credential to cover the Supreme Court.

The Senate Standing Committee of Correspondents denied SCOTUSBlog’s April request for credentials, which are recognized by the Supreme Court, because its founder Tom Goldstein‘s firm argues before the Court. The committee says that ‘violates its rule against lobbying the federal government’ and that ‘the site is not independent from Mr. Goldstein’s firm.’ Read more

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Supreme Court Rulings Ignite ‘Running of the Interns’

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 17.58.17BuzzFeed Politics and Benny Johnson win the day with this afternoon’s post on the annual tradition in DC known as the “Running of the Interns.” Since cameras and recording equipment are banned within the Supreme Court, TV network interns run from where the ruling is given in printed form to where their respective news outlet is located.

Click on over to BuzzFeed for the good, the bad, the ugly, and the stylish (!!) of this morning’s “Running of the Interns.”

Top Tweets on SCOTUS Rulings

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued two final rulings in its term, in the cases of Harris v. Quinn and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

A 5 – 4 decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, the Court ruled that closely held for-profit corporation can’t be required by the government to provide contraception coverage. Also in a 5 – 4 vote, the Court limits power by states to compel public employee contributions to unions.

Some of the morning’s most interesting Tweets on the rulings.

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C-SPAN Broadcasts of Today’s Supreme Court Rulings

c-spanA unanimous (9-0) Supreme Court ruling today declares that police may not search a criminal suspect’s cell phone without a warrant.

In case you missed this morning’s argument, C-SPAN2 will broadcast U.S. v. Wurie & Riley v. California tonight at 9 pm.

Also set to air in the prior hour at 8pm, ABC v. Aereo, the network’s case against the streaming television startup accused of violating copyright laws, that was ruled in favor of ABC 6-3.

Tune to C-SPAN2 starting at 8pm tonight for broadcast of today’s Supreme Court oral arguments.

‘The Case Against 8′ Screens at USIP, at West End Cinema June 13 – 19

Ralph Alswang Photographer 202-487-5025

Paul Katami, Jeff Zarrillo, Ben Cotner, Sandy Stier, Ted Olson, Kris Perry, Ryan White. Photo credit: Ralph Alswang

Last night at the US Institute of Peace, directors and producers Ben Cotner and Ryan White screened “The Case Against 8,” their film chronicling the federal lawsuit filed to overturn Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Led by a legal team comprising Ted Olson, lead counsel for the Republicans in the 2000 Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision, and David Boies, the attorney who opposed Olson in Bush v. Gore, “The Case Against 8″ follows Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, two couples selected as plaintiffs by the American Foundation for Equal Rights, formed by activist Chad Griffin and his colleagues.

“The idea that people on different sides of the aisle can work together on something, is something that we were really excited about,” said Cotner, who prior to working on the film with White served as an executive at Paramount Pictures and Open Road Films. “It’s so rare these days. I think you see that often people who may be on different sides of the aisle may agree on certain issues. And there’s a lot of work that can get done. And a lot of things can be accomplished, if we really just set aside the politics and set aside the partisianship for a moment, there are great things that we can do as a country.” Read more

Supreme Court Rejects James Risen Appeal to Testify

Last week we wrote about a conversation with WaPo columnist David Ignatius and outed former CIA officer Valerie Plame with Atlantic Washington Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons on US and international intelligence.

During the conversation, Ignatius was asked about James Risen, the NYTimes reporter who appealed to the Supreme Court to not have to identify a confidential source. Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va. rejected his appeal.

“On the specific question of Jim Risen, absolutely, he should not be compelled to reveal his sources,” offered Ignatius.

The issue dates back to a May 2011 subpoena received by Risen to identify a source for his 2006 book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.
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Media Turns Out For SCOTUS Decisions

The Supreme Court has been busy this week, and while there’s plenty of excitement inside SCOTUS, most of the action was outside in the flurry of cameras, notebooks and audio recorders in the hands of scrambling reporters covering the decision.

Today’s landmark decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, and Proposition 8 drew not only an army of journalists, but also swarms of same-sex marriage proponents, along with a few supporters of traditional marriage. The Supreme Court voted in a 5-4 decision that DOMA was unconstitutional and voted that Proposition 8 was invalid.

The temperature and humidity were both fairly high, but that didn’t keep gay rights advocates, whose spirits were equally as high, from hanging around outside the court for hours to talk to as many reporters as they could. Much of the media also stayed for hours to talk to them.

Richard Bennett, a federal employee, was one of many excited same-sex marriage advocates wandering the sidewalk in front the court.

“I’m very happy about the DOMA ruling,” Bennett said. “This is going to make a significant difference to me in terms of benefits.”

Bennett echoed the feelings of many in the crowd that it’s a state by state battle now for nation-wide recognition of same-sex marriage.

“It bothers me that every day when I leave my home, I’m married, and when I get to work, I’m not married anymore,” Bennett said.

Barney Frank, the recently retired congressman from Massachusetts, was also on site to talk to reporters. Frank, who is openly gay, was swarmed by journalists armed microphones and notebooks to get his opinion on the decisions.

Many broadcast networks set up camp on the sidewalk just outside of SCOTUS, cutting in and out of live shots on the scene. The interns sprinting back to their respective organizations with the decisions have gotten media attention themselves, courtesy of BuzzFeed.

Interns and veterans alike both sweated it out as they remained in the heat looking for different stories and angles. There were many gay marriage advocates, but FBDC only saw one supporter of traditional marriage who was actively protesting the decision.

His name is Ronald Brock, and he’s a missionary who drives what he calls a “truth truck” around the country to preach Christian ideals. His reaction to the decision, he told FBDC, was, “Supreme Court, you are not God,” which was printed in big letters on a sign he held up.

“The Constitution hasn’t changed, God’s word hasn’t changed, we’ve just lost are moral marbles,” Brock said.

He added that the media coverage of gay rights issues has played a role in the country’s acceptance of same-sex marriage. Acknowledging that he was possibly the only one opposing the SCOTUS decision on DOMA, he said that gay rights advocates take action, while traditional marriage supporters are only willing to talk and not take action.

Brock was certainly doing a lot of talking to reporters, as most were making sure to get quotes from both sides of the argument, as he held his sign.

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C. was also present, and very excited. They sang “Make Them Hear You” and the National Anthem in front of the steps of the Supreme Court for a swarm of media. Bob Sheavle, who has been in the chorus for over a decade, said the group has been heavily involved in same-sex marriage advocacy.

“Singing for something as deep as your sexual orientation, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Sheavle said.

By early afternoon, the crowd was starting to thin, as well as some of the media. Many were braving the heat, though, such as Brian Mooar  and his crew from NBC News (shown above), and continuing to cut to a live broadcast or talk to what was left of the crowd.

Gay Marriage Wins at SCOTUS, Summer Sun Tries to Kill Everyone

Gay marriage won big at the Supreme Court today, but Washington, D.C.’s summer heat took second. Little more than an hour after the court released two landmark gay rights opinions, there were arguably more reporters trolling the plaza outside for interviews than demonstrators left to talk to. We got asked for comment three times before we even got across 1st Street. Yes, given the heat, we were dressed like Midwestern tourists, but still… you know it’s bad when the Repent or Perish guy is getting most of the action.

You can’t blame people for bailing pretty quickly, though—the blazing sun and stifling humidity made it feel close to 105, according to some reports. You can call them wimps, however. Or maybe just naive. This is DC, afterall. “Overheard at #scotus: ‘Oh my god it’s so much hotter than I expected!’ Oh honey,” tweeted National Review’s Betsy Woodruff. In a retweet, Washington Examiner’s Justin Green added, “Oh honey indeed.”

The smartest in the crowd, though, weren’t even on the plaza but across the street and under the shade of the trees by the Capitol, sipping cool drinks and laughing at us fools melting on the Court’s steps. Like, say, CNN’s Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin:

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Washingtonian Points WaPo’s Brauchli Toward the Door: But is he Really Leaving?

Is WaPo‘s Executive Editor Steamed Marcus Brauchli on his way out, or does Washingtonian just have a lot of questions?

Makes us want to go on a question rampage. Namely, is this mere rumor or imminent? A story published this week by Washingtonian media writer Harry Jaffe, who has written at least a couple anti-WaPo management stories in his day, seems to think it’s just a matter of time before Brauchli gets blanched. Management formally denies that Brauchli is leaving anytime soon, but anonymous newsroom sources tell him the rumors are heating up and have been since the beginning of the year.

The headline: “Is Marcus Brauchli Soon to Be Out at the Washington Post?”

All in all, the short piece contains eight questions including the headline and takes stabs at who might replace Brauchli should he leave.

Might Washingtonian have more details on this soon? Will Brauchli read Jaffe’s story and start packing up his things or will he start throwing darts at his nifty Harry Jaffe office dartboard that he got in the last office Secret Santa gift exchange? Who knows?

We reached out to WaPo PR for comment. They promised to get check on Washingtonian‘s report and get back to us.

Area Journos To Appear In “Don’t Be A Snitch” Video

Separated at birth:

Carmelo Anthony in the infamous “Don’t Be A Snitch” video…


…and Congress Daily’s Christian Bourge, The Hill newspaper’s Jackie Kucinich, Roll Call’s John Stanton and Tom Morris from America’s Most Wanted in a promo shot for XM Radio’s new show “The Capital Hill Blues”:


Photo Credit: Maria Izaurralde

Anyway, on to the show’s details (from the release):

    Political talk meets Funk meets Classic rock.

    Throw in the perspectives of a group of Washington journalists and you’ve got the 60 minutes that make up The Capital Hill Blues, the new round table political talk show on XM Satellite Radio that anyone can relate to. Think of it as an after hours cocktail party where the conversation is casual and laid back without all of the partisan spin.

    Each week, Congress Daily’s Christian Bourge, The Hill newspaper’s Jackie Kucinich, Roll Call’s John Stanton and Tom Morris from America’s Most Wanted provide a frank and funny analysis of what’s driving Washington and including some issues politicians are ignoring. Producer Jason Anthony moderates while dropping in tunes that span from Parliament Funkadelic to the Doors and beyond. The show’s popularity is growing quickly via YOUTUBE clips, and it’s diverse listener base that include truck drivers in Texas to soccer moms in North Carolina.

    So join the party each week at 8pm on Fridays (EST) Saturdays 4pm (EST) and Sundays at 3am (EST) on XM radio channel 130. Or log on and listen at