There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (01/19/1995)

Amends the Federal judicial code to: (l) direct the Judicial Conference to authorize an experimental program in which the presiding judge of a court of the United States may, in his or her discretion, permit photographic or electronic media coverage of criminal court proceedings, including trials (requires that at least 15 Federal judicial districts participate in the experimental program); and (2) authorize any presiding judge to permit such coverage of civil court proceedings, including trials.

Authorizes the court in any case to refuse, limit, or terminate such coverage in the interests of justice to protect the rights of the parties and the dignity of the court, or to assure the fair administration of justice. Prohibits any changes in the scheduling, form, or procedure of any court proceeding by virtue of this Act for the benefit of the media in providing such coverage.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) requests for permission to use media coverage; (2) prohibited coverage; (3) equipment and personnel; (4) pooled coverage; and (5) other photographing, recording, or broadcasting.

Provides for the creation of a committee to evaluate whether photographic or electronic media coverage of criminal court proceedings should be permitted after June 30, 1998, or whether such coverage so disrupts or interferes with the fairness of criminal court proceedings as to justify its prohibition. Directs: (1) the committee to evaluate, analyze, and monitor the effect of media coverage of criminal court proceedings on the administration of justice and make recommendations to the Congress and the Judicial Conference; (2) the Federal Judicial Center to cooperate with the committee in connection with the review of the impact of such coverage; and (3) the Judicial Conference to promulgate appropriate rules to carry out this Act after affording all interested persons, agencies, and institutions an opportunity to review and comment thereon.

Terminates the experimental program on June 30, 1998, unless the Judicial Conference extends the program and notifies the Congress in writing before that date.

Makes rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (prohibiting taking photographs in the court room during judicial proceedings or radio broadcasting such proceedings) inapplicable during the period that the program is in effect.

Allows the Judicial Conference to authorize such coverage of criminal proceedings before the program terminates.