POLITICS

Request for Public Records Highlights Justice Barrett’s Speech at McConnell Center – Reason.com


Fix the Court has requested a public record from the University of Louisville. The organization dumped a 120+ page document relating to Justice Barrett’s visit to the McConnell Center in September 2021. I went through the trench of documents and found some items of interest. (FOIA dumps are usually sorted with the most recent emails at the top, so I usually start reading at the end).

There was a backlash between the Public Information Office and Gary Gregg at the McConnell Center over press restrictions.

First, on August 9, 2021, the court’s PIO office issued very strict conditions for the press – no still images!

If you want to make the public event open to media coverage, Justice wants to follow these guidelines: print press coverage only – no broadcast coverage and There is no still photography (including any stills from the McConnell Center). Recording devices are permitted for note-taking purposes only, not for broadcasting. Reporters should sit in a separate section and should not participate in any Q&A with the audience, if any. The judge will not be available for any interview or press availability during his visit. Please make an announcement before the judges event so that participants are asked Refrain from cell phone photography Or recording during a judge’s event.

Second, on August 19, 2021, Gary Gregg of the McConnell Center wrote again. He called the rules “strict.” He’s the right kite. These restrictions are not entirely confusing with how public events are held. I think the ban on recording is stupid, but I got it. Justice does not want to go back to the broadcast news. But the ban on still photography? As if every person in the room does not have a smart phone? Did these bans come from the PIO or from the judge? Maybe Art Lien could do a sketch.

Third, on September 7, 2021, Greg asked if Barrett would take pictures with students and soldiers during private meetings. And Greg asked if Senator McConnell and other VIPs could get a picture. Apparently, this request caused some reconsideration.

Fourth, on the same day, the PIO withdrew, and issued revised press guidelines. Now, still images will be allowed for a few minutes:

Please note that we have revised the guidelines for judges to include limited still photography for public events. If you have any questions or want to discuss, please let me know. If you want to make the event open to media coverage, Justice wants to follow these guidelines: Stable camera And print press coverage only. Recording devices are permitted for note-taking purposes only, not for broadcasting. Any still images should be limited to the first and last 1-2 minutes of the program. Reporters should sit in a separate section and should not participate in any Q&A with the audience, if any. The judge will not be available for any interview or press availability during his visit. Pictures taken at the McConnell Center’s public lectures can be used with news coverage of the event on the centre’s website and social media platforms. McConnell Center photographers should limit photos between the first and last 1-2 minutes of a judge’s public event. Please assure a member of the McConnell Center staff that all still photographers comply with the static photograph restrictions.

Photographs taken at the McConnell Center elsewhere during the judge’s visit, including his meetings with McConnell Scholars and any private receptions / dinners, may only be used for personal mementos (not for publication, posting or publication). We know that judges’ meetings with McConnell Scholars are considered private, not open to press coverage. The judge proposed five group photos and did not object to the photos with the VIPs when requested. All of these images are for personal use only (not for publishing, posting or publishing).

By then the terms of the press had been settled.

There were also several emails between Justice Barrett’s chamber and Greg. On June 17, 2021, Barrett’s aide asked:

He wonders what the subject of the public talk will be so he begins to think about what he will say.

On June 22, 2021, Barrett’s assistant wrote again:

He also really wants to start thinking about public speaking and find out how long it takes to talk about the proposed topic.

On June 28, 2021 (the last day of the term!), Justice Barrett’s assistant offered the following guidelines:

Justice Barrett will prepare brief remarks (no more than 15-20 minutes) followed by a question and answer session. He wants pre-submitted questions and questions asked by the central questioner, or students / students / listeners can be selected in advance to ask questions. He doesn’t want to field inappropriate questions at the moment.

This last sentence should not have been printed. The aide reported that the judge had personally asked to avoid “inappropriate” questions. And he made that request at the McConnell Center everywhere! The optics are awesome. This kind of thing you say on the phone, and never say in an email বিশেষ especially with a public body subject to FOIA.

On August 22, the assistant explained that the judge wanted to examine the questions in person:

He wants to see the verified questions for sure.


Again, such statements should not be printed. It looks awful for an assistant to write in a FOIA-enabled document that the judge wants to see “tested questions” in advance. All judges take screened questions, but usually the screener does not check with the judge first.

Moreover, this feeling is even more uncertain in light of the actual comments made by Barrett. According to press reports, Barrett said he was “concerned about the public perception of the Supreme Court.” Did this feeling arise from an “inappropriate” question? Or a question he verified? Who knows? He has banned the recording, so we are stuck with the confidence from the journalists.

Finally, Justice Barrett’s assistant uses emojis in emails.

Call me Snoot, but I’m not a fan of smiling faces in emails from the Supreme Court chamber.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button