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Cameras in the Court

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved in an 11-7 vote Thursday that seeks to televise Supreme Court proceedings.

[IMGCAP(1)]The bill, introduced by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), would require all court arguments to be aired unless a majority of the Supreme Court justices decide that the televising of a particular case would violate due process rights for a particular party. The measure now heads to the Senate floor for a vote.

The bill does have some opposition: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) voted against the measure, saying that it is improper for the Senate to interfere in the operations of the Supreme Court.

Dominoes. House Energy and Commerce ranking member Joe Barton (R-Texas) reshuffled the panel’s GOP subcommittee lineup last week in the wake of Rep. Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) departure from the committee and Congress.

Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.) is succeeding Hastert as ranking member on the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, and Rep. Cliff Stearns (Fla.) takes Upton’s old post as the top Republican on the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.

Stearns’ move opens the ranking membership of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, which will now be taken by Rep. Ed Whitfield (Ky.). He vacates the top GOP slot at the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which in turn has been filled by Rep. John Shimkus (Ill.).

Shimkus will be replaced in the top Republican position at the Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials by a new ranking member, Rep. John Shadegg (Ariz.). Rep. Nathan Deal (Ga.), ranking member on the Health Subcommittee, is staying put.

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