- Associated Press - Monday, October 31, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Supreme Court is scheduled to consider approving a rule change that would allow cameras in courtrooms across the state.

Judges in seven of 12 judicial districts have already allowed expanded media coverage in their courtrooms, according to the Journal Star (https://bit.ly/2eqZFSY ).

During a meeting of a committee of judges, attorneys and the press this week, Justice Jeff Funke said judges and attorneys have been working on the issue since May 2015.

“I’m excited,” Funke said. “I think we’re getting there.”

Funke said a March 1 start date will give time to address comments sent to the clerk of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals by Nov. 15.

Attorney Shawn Renner, who advises print and broadcast journalists on free speech, said the idea is to figure out how the system will work before a high-profile case comes up. Sarpy County Court Judge Todd Hutton recommended reporters view how-to videos on media in courtrooms.

The older rule, implemented in 1992, barred broadcasting, televising, recording or photographing in courtrooms and the immediate area without prior approval. The proposed rule, on the other hand, would allow media coverage in county and district courtrooms in Nebraska, with limited exceptions.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Heavican reminded the group in the two-hour meeting that other states like Iowa have had cameras in courtrooms for years.

“This will work,” Heavican said.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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