The U.S. Senate Press Gallery denied SCOTUSblog’s request for a press pass last week. “We were disappointed in that decision,” SCOTUSblog publisher Tom Goldstein writes in a blog post. The publication plans to appeal:
We do not have a written list of the reasons for the denial, which makes the process more difficult. Our impression is also that the appeal may go to the same group that denied the application in the first place. If the appeal is denied, then we expect to litigate the issue. We’re now coordinating all those efforts with other groups that kindly have offered to support us.
A Senate Press Gallery credential is usually a prerequisite for a Supreme Court press pass, which SCOTUSblog still, somewhat inexplicably, lacks. The Senate granted the publication a press pass last April. “We then presented that credential to the Supreme Court, thinking that the issue was resolved,” Goldstein writes, but the court declined to recognize it. “We are in the process of reviewing our credentialing procedures and are not issuing new credentials until that process is complete,” court public information officer Kathleen Arberg told Poynter last fall.
“In the interim, we do have a largely uninterrupted ability to cover the Court,” Goldstein writes. Its reporter Lyle Denniston has a press credential from WBUR.