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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
3/13/2008--Reported to Senate amended. Sunshine in the Courtroom Act of 2008 - Authorizes the presiding judge of a U.S. appellate court or U.S. district court to permit the photographing, electronic recording, broadcasting, or televising to the public of court proceedings over which that judge presides except when such action would constitute a violation of the due process rights of any party.
Directs: (1) a district court, upon the request of any witness in a trial proceeding other than a party, to order the face and voice of the witness to be disguised or otherwise obscured to render the witness unrecognizable to the broadcast audience of the trial proceeding; and (2) the presiding judge in a trial proceeding to inform each witness who is not a party of the right to make such request.
Prohibits the presiding judge from permitting the photographing, electronic recording, broadcasting, or televising of any juror in a trial proceeding, or of the jury selection process.
Gives the presiding judge the discretion to obscure the face and voice of an individual under certain conditions if good cause can be shown that the photographing, electronic recording, broadcasting, or televising of the individual would threaten the individual's safety.
Prohibits any interlocutory appeal of the decision of the presiding judge of whether or not to permit, deny, or terminate the photographing, electronic recording, broadcasting, or televising of a court proceeding.
Directs the Judicial Conference of the United States to promulgate advisory guidelines to which a presiding judge is required to refer in making decisions regarding the management and administration of photographing, recording, broadcasting, or televising described in this Act.
Prohibits any audio pickup or broadcast of conferences in a court proceeding between attorneys and their clients, between co-counsel of a client, between adverse counsel, or between counsel and the presiding judge, if the conferences are not part of the official record of the proceedings.