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Chief justice pleased with transition of more news cameras in local courtrooms

Lauren Chapman

Indiana this year allowed judges across the state to open up their courtrooms to news cameras. And Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush is pleased with how the transition has gone.

State judicial rules long barred cameras in courtrooms, unless approved by the state Supreme Court. A rule change that took effect May 1 after a five-county pilot program no longer requires that approval — any local judge can make the decision on their own.

Rush said she’s been encouraging judges to take advantage of that freedom.

“When you see how judges break down complicated cases, small cases, treat litigants with respect, make sure that everybody has a right to be heard, I think there’s just more trust,” Rush said.

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Rush said there is still hesitation from some judges — rooted, she said, in their fears that cameras will create a “gotcha” moment. Rush said she’s working to get judges over that fear.

There are some limits to the policy — minors and jurors cannot be recorded or photographed.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.