tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 4, 2013 6:00am-8:01am EST
is in session, prime minister david cameron takes questions from the members of the house of commons. standing in this week is as deputy prime minister mr. clegg. this is live coverage on c-span2. >> briefly made the finals in sierra leone and we're planning to do work together not least on the corruption of -- [inaudible] >> thank you, mr. speaker. there's a commitment to stabilizing and i quote fragile and conflict affected states. what is the department doing to support the people of kashmir? >> thank you. the tried departmental -- in pakistan and india controlled kashmir which support human rights and piece building. these are administered by the
for and commonwealth office but we provide a kashmir program operating both in pakistan and india. >> order. russians to the prime minister. julie elliott. >> number one, mr. speaker,. >> i have been asked to apply -- i've been as to apply -- [shouting] mr. speaker, as i was a have been as to reply on behalf of the right honorable friend the prime minister with interest in china. i'm sure the whole house wish to join me in offering our condolences to the families and friends of those have been tragically killed following the helicopter crash on friday evening. our thoughts of course are with those who were injured at this difficult time. i visited this site yesterday was able to see the recovery operation firsthand and i like to be triggered only half of the whole house to the outstanding response and bravery of all the
emergency services involved in rather extremely the many circumstances. mr. speaker, this morning i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, and in addition to my duties in this house, i shall have further such meetings later today. >> julie elliott. >> may i associate myself with the comments made by the deputy prime minister after the help -- under the former for all occasions health, they are facing cuts to 40 doing pounds. does the deputy prime minister think it is right to divert nhs funding from areas of high levels of need to areas of lower levels of need? how does he think this will impact on the winter crisis? >> mr. speaker, as she knows, aging is england is now in a decision to make these big judgments. but you have questions on what money goes where in the nhs, if i understand correctly, still
doesn't agree with our protection of the nhs funding. we are putting, we are putting 12.7 billion pounds money of extra money into the nhs. i'd be interested to know what her party agrees. >> with the deputy prime minister join me in congratulating the london borough which has redone 1000 previously overcrowded families into larger, more suitable accommodations as result of the governments welfare policy? >> i firmly would like to join with my honorable friend to congratulate the perot for the excellent work they've done. overcrowding is a real, real problem. hundreds of thousands of families living in overcrowded properties will children have no space to do their school work. the party opposite has got no answers to some of these fundamental problems that great in the first place, so --
[inaudible] >> can i join the guest deputy prime minister and conveying our deepest sympathy to the families of the 19 who lost their lives in a tragic accident? i join him in paying tribute to brave work of the emergency services and to the quite remarkable response of the people of glasgow. and mr. speaker, and the deputy prime minister tell us, compared to last winter, with his wonders household energy bills be lower or higher? >> mr. speaker, they would be hire -- [shouting] if we had not -- if we had not taken the action that we have. and i would simply point out to her that her party's economically illiterate policy -- [shouting]
-- in fact her energy spokesperson said just two days ago on television, well, you can't control energy prices. they are we have a. you need me to point out that your policy is bad. your energy spokesman has done it for you. >> mr. speaker, he has not answered the question. [shouting] he hasn't answered the question i asked. he hasn't answered the question. >> as always, we will get through however long it takes. members can call themselves sooner rather than later. >> he's dodged and the and after the question i asked. the truth is that the energy bills are not going down. they are going up. and as for the measures, as for the measures, the 50 pounds they talked about is not enough to
stop a build from rising. but of the 50 pounds can you tell us exactly how much will come from the profit of the energy giants? >> i never be severe because i didn't answer the question what i did answer the question. i did answer the question. bills will be 50 pounds lower than they otherwise would be. a pretty simple -- and we've done that, we have done that by adjusting the policies while adhering to our green commitme commitment. so her party's policy is pure fantasy. totally unfocused. we got 50 pounds. she has a fancy free. >> harriet harman. >> he says he is answer the question but he has not. -- as result of his government's policy energy bills are going up, not down.
he hasn't admitted that there can also next time he answers, what he's trying to hide is that not 1 penny will come from the profit of the energy giant. they are tiptoeing around energy giants and allowing them to put up their bills. when it comes to standing up to the rich and powerful, this government is weak. but when it comes, when it comes to the most well in our society, they got no qualms at all. last week, the prime minister said that disabled people are exempt from the bedroom tax. [shouting] that is not true. will be deputy prime minister apologize and put the record straight? [shouting] >> mr. speaker, the honorable lady talks about standing up to vested interest. this in the week that we
discover that the great courage of the labour leadership that stand up for the trade union came after, guess what? guess what? mañana, montana, mañana. all too difficult. [shouting] >> order. this house should be the bastion of free speech. neither the deputy prime minister nor the lady must be shouted down and we will keep going with this session as long as it takes for proper order to be absorbed. the deputy prime minister. >> and drink if i may say so it should be the bastion of political parties free of vested interest. and it is high time, it is high time that the labour leadership do what they say and stand up the trade union paymaster. she should stand up to hers. >> harriet harman. >> well, mr. speaker, i suggest that you leave it up to us to
worry about our party members, especially -- [shouting] especially as so many of them used to be years. [shouting] given that for over 90% of people hit by the bedroom tax, there just isn't a smaller property for them to move to. what would he have them do? >> mr. speaker, under her government, for 13 years, housing -- housing benefits for people in a private rental center -- [inaudible] we apply exactly the same road which they admitted for 13 years for those in a social rental sector. for the reasons we heard earlier we have at the same time many thousands of families of overcrowded properties, and 1.8 million households still on housing waiting list. like so many owls come like so many other things we are sorting
out the mess they left behind. [shouting] >> harriet harman. >> mr. speaker, he knows that there's no comparison between what we did and what he's doing. [shouting] our change was only for new placement. their bedroom tax it people who lived in their property for years who can't afford the charges and have got nowhere to go. mr. speaker, he stands there and always says that the lib dems are making a difference in government. and they certainly are. without the lib dems, there would be no bedroom tax. without the lib dems there would be no doubling of tuition fee. without the legends there would be no top down reorganization of the nhs. he says he's a break on the towards but trendy even i know the difference between the brake and the accelerator. trying to isn't he the very best
deputy and conservative prime minister could ever wish for? >> mr. speaker, without the lib dems they would not be a recovery. [shouting] without -- mr. speaker, mr. speaker, mr. speaker, we have our differences. we have -- [shouting] >> order. order. [shouting] >> order. the answer will be heard. the deputy prime minister. >> we have our differences on the side of the house. but the one thing that unites us on this side of the house is we wouldn't have gone on a cocktail -- sucking up to the banks which got us in this mess in the first place. we simply wouldn't take your
children or grandchildren, you can pay off this generation's debt. no one on this side of the house would have broken the british economy in the first place. [shouting] >> harriet harman. >> he talks about recovery and there might be a recovery for the rich but for everyone else -- [shouting] he won't stand up for the week, but when it comes to being a loyal deputy to a tory prime minister, he will go to any length, breaking promises and sellout in the principles. and the truth is that if you want to freeze energy bills and scrap the bedroom tax commits not going to be the tories to it will never be the lib dems. it's got to be labour. [shouting] >> mr. speaker, thank you there's not a government in waiting, not even in opposition in waiting. it's 18 months before the next general election. we still have no clue from those six questions with the labour party will actually do.
we do know a few things. and energy con which would see prices go up rather than down. no apology to crashing economy in the first place. and a total failure to stand up to the trade unions office. mr. speaker, if they can't manage to come up with some sensible policies, if they can't manage their own party, why should anyone think that they can manage our country? [shouting] >> mr. speaker, this weekend i will be supporting local firms in my constituency. companies welcome the reduction this government has introduced in terms of corporation tax and national insurance contributions, but what more can be done to reduce business rates? >> mr. speaker, i would suggest to my honorable friend he should wait until the chancellor makes his autumn statement and small business saturday as it
prohibited to encourage a going to support small businesses in uk. of course, the last government plan to do and more generous small business rate relief to we reversed that decision savings focuses around 2000 pounds on average. yes, another example of this side of the house standing up for small businesses let down by that side of the house. >> tenets, councils, housing association, welfare charities and disabled groups are against this. let them pass -- is against it, even danny stand is against the. so why is the deputy prime minister the last men standing in defending the bedroom tax, a policy as unpopular as a poll tax? >> mr. speaker, everybody except when you make a change from one system to another there are hard cases. it needs to be dealt with compassion and that's why we have troubled the discretion housing payment to allow less appointed -- in ask the board
with him with his welfare spoke person who has declared the labour party will be tougher on welfare and the coalition? and yet that side of the house has opposed 83 billion pounds worth of welfare savings. are they tough or are they nothing? >> mr. speaker, as you know more than many over the last three years the leadership has shown employment fulfill your to provide consistent information to residents protected by phase one. today in my constituency are holding -- [inaudible] provides decent information and decent conversation to everyone affected? >> mr. speaker, i know his strong views on this, not least because of the way hs2 may
affect his constituents. of course, i agree with him that not only should full conversation be payable as will be but also a right level of information provided. faced to root consultation with start in october is due to into genuine and as part of that process there are some 36 information events near the route include when he alluded to in his own constituency of those are opportunities for people to make their views known. as he knows i am a staunch supporter of hs2. i think it is -- [inaudible] about which their chief secretary treasury will be speaking shortly. >> thank you, mr. speaker. there are more young people out of work and the black country -- backcountry getting youth unemployment fund. so will he said that scheme? will be dealt with the cdu is the answer will be called an urgent meeting to sort that out and get that scheme underway much more quick late, also? >> i certainly understand his
sense of urgency about getting the city is in the so-called second wave of gray. we are working flat out to do so as you can imagine the our teeth across an ice to be daughter. the principal idea of making sure is power -- more power resources and freedom to use of resources are allocated to local communities and local authorities is something we determined to push through in his part of the country as elsewhere. >> mr. speaker, given that we face more and more onshore wind farm applications insensitive sites can welcome any reduction in the incentives? >> -- [shouting] and thank them for his part. >> as he knows, our treasure will confirm that shortly in greater detail we have adjusted the so-called strike prices as far as they apply to onshore
wind and solar panel installations because we believe that it is viable not to do so. but actually made it more attractive for further investments in the offshore wind industry in which we already are a world leader which we must maintain our worldly not least for the benefit of parts of the country such as the northeast of all of which will be blighted by economic energy policy. >> thank you, mr. speaker. is the deputy prime minister of where that women working full-time have seen their earnings fall by nearly 2500 pounds since the election? and as you think a married man's tax allows is the best way to help women are paying the price of his government? >> mr. speaker, the honorable lady knows the respective views and the coalition on the merit -- marriage tax. i would point out to her that it is this government that is ended the injustice on the labour of women being shortchanged in the pension system. it is this government that is
raising the point at which people pay income tax which is discourse of beneficial to women some 1.5 when women will be better off and it is this government that is finally provide more affordable childcare places which were not provided over the last 13 years under labour. >> mr. speaker, the rural equivalent is waiting for high-speed broadband. we have good news, 82% of the people in mike in stitches will indeed be connected by the end of 2016. the sad fact is that over 8000 properties were not be. they will be in the so-called last 10%. will he not commit the funds that have been set aside to be deployed to finish the job? we don't want a complex bidding system. we don't want macs funding to we just want the job done. >> mr. speaker, we are investing
as he knows over 33 million pounds already and extending the coverage of superfast as part of the road broadband program. over 10,000 premises are expected to be covered by the project by the end of the year and 74,000 by next july. on this point the final 10%. we announced back in june a course of a billion pounds of new money to extend superfast broadband coverage further by 2017, and to hear what he says and the plan will be set out in for the detailed shortly. >> thank you, mr. speaker. [inaudible] >> mr. speaker, i a great and i'm sure i speak o him half of most people on all sides of the house that it would be an act
coming with a spectacular act of economic suicide for the country to put itself out of the world largest market. by some estimates, over 3 million jobs are dependent one way or another in this country on our membership of the european union. >> we welcome the government's great decision to introduce a cap on benefits, but when their average earnings of 23,900 year fall anacapa set an equivalent first 5000 a year annual salary, they understand they still feel you can be better off on benefits. will my right honorable friend look at lowering the overall benefit tax or regionalize it so that it always pays for work where ever you let? >> mr. speaker, we have not taken an approach of regionalize in the benefit can. i know that is the case by the party opposite, so scarce, very few details have been provided from them so far so we taken a
national approach and we will therefore set it at a national average, 26,000 pounds if you like after-tax equivalent to 35,000 before. the majority of people in our country think that is fair. as on some issues i would be interested in whether the party opposite now supports our doesn't support its highly popular measure. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the government has today been pushing action business rates why labour which -- [shouting] energy bills will still rise this winter. it will go up by an average of 250 pounds next year. does the deputy prime minister agree that nothing less than labour's -- and freeze business rates will be? >> mr. speaker, the only thing that this government is being pushed into, which is what she said, by the party opposite is rescuing the economy after the
disastrous plans of their own. we are bringing that coming back from the brink because that's what elected. we've had to do emergency surgery to banks because they sucked up to the banks. we had to fill a black hole and the public finances because they created it. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, as you know i'm always anxious to be helpful, so in the spirit of cooperation with our coalition partners, i have given notice of my question. given that the deputy prime minister is only the dispatch box did it because the prime minister is in china drumming up more orders for british business, can be deputy prime minister please tell the house what would be common market share of world trade when the uk joins in 1973? what is the world trade today? >> mr. speaker, the eu share of
world trade today i think is around 20%. i would never say to him in an equally friendly spirit in which i know the question was intended was that the prime minister is advocating a new eu china trade deal. precise because the european union remains not listing all the other changes in the world a very, very powerful trading block on the world stage. >> last week -- [inaudible] just two months ago the advice the government -- [inaudible] does the deputy prime minister believe that he has secured value for money for the taxpayer? >> mr. speaker, as my right on a friend the sector a state of business explain this is yet another example of us doing something which they ducked while they were in government. and the price at which we set
will independently recommended to us was actually the highest point of the range provided to us by independent advisors. >> thank you, mr. speaker. two weeks ago office is closed down, and unlike hmo, with 11 unrelated adults living in a three-bedroom property each thing 160 pounds a week in rent. would my right honorable friend not agree that it's time that we criminalize these vandals to protect of the horrible? >> well, mr. speaker, i'm appalled to hear about that example yet again of rogue landlords behaving unacceptable. we announced a package last october to help hard-working tenants get a better deal when renting a home, including a commitment to look at property conditions in the private rental
sector and will surely be announcing which local authorities will receive a share in 3 million pounds worth of something to help them tackle rogue and criminal landlords. >> thank you, mr. speaker. when he signed the coalition agreement with his commitment to giving more power to parents and pupils, did he ever envisioned it would lead to a situation where conservatives controlled hammersmith and of the council is currently threatening to close the successful and popular sullivan primary school rated good against the overwhelming opposition of the parents, the governors, the pupils and local residents in order to headed over for a free school? >> mr. speaker, my right honorable friend the secretary of state of education is year and a journey would want to write to you on that specific case. but actually one of the things this government has done is remove the dead hand of bureaucracy and centralization to make sure that the parents of
the free education can teach the way they judge best and the parents have a greater role whether want to and the running of our schools. >> mr. charles kennedy. >> thank you with reference back to the question from the honorable gentleman, perhaps the honorable friend on this issue, would the deputy prime minister agree that for the coalition stand on europe, actions actually speak louder than words? and would he agree that the chances decision sometime back to assist the irish economy, the for secretaries and responsible conduct of the intra-european government to review and the deed the prime minister's own watch this week in china, that get this reference he wants to recommend we stay in? this is a great boost of confidence for people like him and need. [shouting]
>> mr. speaker, it is -- it is always a joy to hear the mischievous wit and wisdom of my right honorable friend. and as he knows, we are as one on the european issue. we need to of course reform the european union. we need to strip away bureaucracy where that can be done, make it more transparent, more efficient it would also need to continue to exercise british leadership in the european union which he has been a member for so many years. >> figures from the national health service show additional 600,000 people use accident and emergency department last winter, an increase of 11% since 2010. and it looks to get much worse this winter. why? >> i think, i do think it's helpful to the moods of people working in the nhs to talk down their admiral efforts in making
sure that's think you should stop talking down the nhs. you should also agree with us that nhs needs more rather than less money and he might need to know the last time the right angle member sitting over there with secretary of stat secretarf health from the average waiting time was 77 minutes. we cut that in half to 33 minutes. [shouting] >> thank you, mr. speaker. last week the ncaa arrested six individuals around the allegations of match fixing. can he assure me in the house that every possible measure is taken by this three bodies of the gamma commission and the nca to hold integrity of english football? >> absolute. archery speak some have everybody in the house and certain football fans when i say when he says it's important we get to the bottom of this. it's by the way a rather good example of being extra early work of the nca.
this is active why it was established to be up to look at these complex cases, work across jurisdictions, work with different agencies and make sure that any suspicion or hint of corruption in the great game is removed. >> the deputy prime minister will be aware of the case i'm raising a. it's encouraging that i'd like him to address. young constituents of mine fled an abusive relationship in ita italy. may i ask the deputy prime minister to use his best endeavors to ensure that italian authorities realize that resting her would be unfair and disproportionate? it would be short of a bottle to take young boy back to a care center and the outcome of proceedings. >> mr. speaker, i'm aware of his
interest in this case. not human -- on a human level, as he knows, ministers cannot comment or intervene in cases that have been before the court with in this country or abroad. we really can't. i'm sure the for and commonwealth office can provide constant assistance to the mother. >> mr. speaker, it may be surprised that the liberals have a reputation of advocating an eu in-out referendum collection. actually not follow that through here in this place. we'll be now put that right by encouraging liberal colleagues to support our eu referendum?
>> mr. speaker, he and i joined forces in the lobby back in july 2011 to legislate for the first time when reference block when for the first time guarantees in law that gives the rules of the european change if there's more transfer from this european union. there will be a referendum. that is to position my party believes in. that is our guarantee referendum will take place when it is determined. i understand this part is having a debate which is now changing that position. my party, however, will stick to what we legislate for in the summer of 2011. >> my friend wanted to know whether the british tax paper values the money, yes or no? >> our judgment is yes, that easy as it might become easy but might be to make judgments about the value of the company,
according to price in the market on any one day, we on this issue as on so many others are determined to take a long-term view, not score short political points. >> sir, peter bone. >> mr. speaker, hasn't the acting prime minister been outstanding today? i think you are listening on the radio you would have thought he was a right angle member for whitney. now, i think he's turning into a tory. can i test that theory? the immigration bill is being signed by 60 coalition mps calling for the transitional arrangements for bulgaria and romania to be continued. does he agree with that? >> mr. speaker, i'm glad he hasn't raised his morbid obsession with the earnings of the primus which i know is a subject of his private member's bill. and i want to thank in for his next double edge conflict just
now. on the issue, as he knows the prime minister, myself, the whole government faces of announcements last week where we are tightening up the access to benefits for those that might come from the other parts of your opinion to this country. i believe we should protect and defend the principle of the freedom of movement but the freedom to move is not the same as the freedom to claim. that is a distinction which this government is now making. >> order. >> here on c-span2 we will leave the british house of commons not as a move onto other legislative business. you've been watching prime minister's question time aired like wednesdays at 7 a.m. eastern while parliament is in session. you can see this weeks question time again sunday night at nine eastern and pacific on c-span. and for more information go to c-span.org and click on c-span series for prime minister's question, plus links to international news media and legislatures around the world.
you can watch recent video including programs deal with other international issues. >> a couple of live events to tell you about today here on c-span2. the house subcommittee on health hold a hearing on the effect of the health care law on the medicare advantage program. that's at 10 a.m. eastern. at three eastern the governments efforts to process complex disability claims for veterans. the hearing is likely to focus on cases of traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and sexual assault claims. they will hear from retired veterans, legal advocates and officials from veterans affairs department. >> now a discussion of media
coverage of the supreme court in the digital age. over the next hour and 15 minutes you hear about the origins of scotusblog, the first blocked received a peabody award. >> good morning and thank you for coming. again, i'm jeffrey jones, the director of the peabody awards. you are in the richard russell special collections library. which also houses 70,000 titles in the peabody award archives. so i encourage you during the break to walk across the hall and see the peabody award exhibit. and mary miller, one of the wonderful peabody archivist is here and will be glad to give you a tour. so welcome to the facility. the peabody awards of course if you don't know are the oldest
award in broadcasting and now as we say electronic media, because several years ago we did expand the types of awards we gave as we move into the digital era. and today is a very special day for us because we get to celebrate one of the first winners -- let me rephrase that. the first blogs we've ever given a peabody award to. and so what we will do is talk at length about why does that matter, or does it matter, and how does that shape our access to and understanding of the supreme court entities to engage with it and how. so i'm going to be the moderator of the first panel and we will segue then into that, our discussion. and tom, as the creator of scotusblog i will direct the first few questions do you. i certainly won't have a history of the creation and evolution of
scotusblog but it probably would be best if you could very briefly describe for our audience just what scotusblog is, it's intents and purposes. >> sure. if i could just ask your indulgence, if i could just a couple things primarily. -- preliminarily. this is the kind of thing anybody's ever done for the blog, for amy enemy and where unbelievably grateful in both receiving the peabody which is the greatest honor we received, people would go to the trouble of putting on this event that friends of ours who are clued more experienced and better at this than us, like tony and pete would take the time to come to talk about the blog is really an exceptional kindness. so to all the folks involved, and to you all for coming to the program, we are really grateful. the second thing is that on some level this is a program that has the name of scotusblog in it but it really isn't just in any
sense about scotusblog. my sense has been that the peabody look at scotusblog as an illustration of broader challenges and trajectories and trends in media, and that is, what are we doing with specialized websites that cover a particular topic. and scotusblog while it's been fortunate, exceptionally fortunate for examples on receiving the peabody, is one of a lot of places like that and is not necessarily exceptionally special or distinct but it gives us an opportunity to do a case study about the problems, the benefits of media like that, and so i really think this is an opportunity to talk about those issues and not make it out at scotusblog is a very special. it's about meeting in transition. at 13 is if you see me pick up my phone as it was when introduction started, we may be riding to the blog or twitter during the program. >> he's playing online poker.
[laughter] >> john mccain and i have again going. but just so you don't think i'm being rude. the fourth thing is for those of you who are watching the stream program or on c-span, and i joined thinking seeping doing this to encourage you to come and visit this unbelievable facility at the library. the peabody collection is extorted. scotusblog is an information portal now and we'll talk a think as we suggested about what has been in the past. but it has the legacy of having the word blog in its title because it started to get as a blog which is to just one injury after another. but it's going to be a comprehensive source of information about one institution, and that is we want to have everything that's going on about every case that the justices are considering. that sounds more sweeping than it is because the justices only decide about 80 cases a term. it's a manageable set.
we attempt to talk to every conceivable audience, and that is we started out talking to lawyers and other people practicing in front of the screen court for example. as we have the great good fortune to become better known and have things like health care decision, same-sex marriage and the voting rights act, the general public has gotten to know us better, we have features we can talk about like amy's plain english. we attempt to push out information to people who are middle schoolers, high schoolers, college students all the way through people who have law degrees and have been practicing in front of the supreme court for two decades. so our goal is that if you want to have one place you can go learn about the supreme court that you will come to us. and in so doing we will give you the links to tony's articles, defeats pieces on nbc. and we can be sort of a public good about the supreme court.
>> if you would, then please tell us about how this began. you ventured off to create a blog. what was in your mind? >> well, it was started by accident as many good things are. in one day 10 years ago, amy and i were sitting at our house, and i thought, hey, there's this thing called blogging which you can start for free. and why don't we start one about the supreme court. the idea being that we were practicing in front of the supreme court, and my three was that if we were to develop a web presence about the supreme court then people would look to us and say, gosh, these are the experts. we should hire them for our supreme court case. that was utterly wrong and terribly foolish. turns out not to be true at all but that was the idea. we, like so many people, started with the fact that the cost of distribution was zero. we had information. we knew about the supreme court. you could create a website on
blogger for nothing at all. that's generally how this start for people. the people who are the most successful bloggers which doesn't include us are folks who just is something they have the passion to say about. we had in economic theory which was that the general counsel of general electric would look and say, hey, we need a supreme court counsel for a company case in the court, why don't we see people who have the website? that doesn't actually happen. the people who are in practice are unbelievable talented lawyers, but it is what got us off the ground, the idea that we knew a lot about the supreme court, that there didn't seem to be a website devoted to the supreme court. there was this emerging form called blogging that wouldn't cost us anything. then it developed from that
point forward. that's how it started one day. and what happened is about a week later we were pretty much done with it. but on the first day, a website called, a blog called how appeasing which had started before us have posted a link to his come and 35 people had come and visit it. at that point we were too embarrassed to stop because we just started it. into stock would have looked foolish. so 10 years later and a huge staff and millions of dollars of investment, here's where we are. we were embarrassed. >> what impediments though have you faced as you move forward? in particular how it was received at first and then as you gain credibility. what roadblocks have you had to overcome? >> i think that we are an example of -- we know just enough to be dangerous. what i mean by that is, i think that both form and experience can give you some benefit, and that is the form of blogging
gave us the benefit, cost of distribution of zero. experience gave us benefits. we were in terms. the press could been unbelievably generous. on the other hand, a form can constrain, and that is that if you're in a newspaper or easier in television you are going to produce information in a particular way. whereas on the internet and with blogging there was no predefined for the we could be anything we wanted. we didn't know enough from experts to say, okay, this is what we should be. as our great benefit was that this hadn't been done before, and we could do whatever it is that we wanted. we weren't a part of any broader institution that had any message or mode of communicating. we had no profit responsibilities. we didn't have any other staff that we were paying. it was the law firm staff that
was working on the blog in the first instance. so mostly what we had was the chance to do something completely different. now, when you're trying to do something completely different, you are going to screw up a lot, and we certainly did. there were lots of cases that we didn't cover. the blog really focused a lot on the law firm in the early days. if you go back and use the internet way-back machine, you see a lot of posts about cases that we were doing, what our staff was doing, our students, law clerks, that sort of thing. the blogs first five years or so, while they were really interesting, don't compare in any way to the second half of existence because it was kind of halfway through that we decided that the blogs mission had to change completely. and that is, the idea that we're going to be out there on the internet and write about the supreme court and the law practice is going to thrive as a result was completely misguided
and wasn't working. what we need do was to essentially give up on the original mission of the blog and try to do something good. their you deserve nothing other than perfect candor. the blog was started as a complete exercise in self interest. off has to happen in a capitalistic economy. blogging engine will be self-motivated. you're going to wake up every morning and write because you want to express yourself. it's rare you get to the point that you have the resources or the reputation or the opportunities to just create a public good. it was when miles came on board with someone who was an actual reporter who was going to really show us what a journalistic standards work, that level of off objectivity that was required that we did things like putting firewalls so that people in the law firm couldn't be writing about the law firms cases.
we realize the form of blogging was itself constraining us, and that is if you are just going to write about what happened in the supreme court that day, a couple of things are going to happen. there's lots of other archive of materials about the court brief in that sort of thing that you not going to present to the public in an organized fashion so we can talk later about how we have pages for each of the cases and you can go and get all the briefs in the blog. second, there is something interesting about blogging, and that is you put a date and time stamp on something and the next day, or in fact two hours later it is somehow cold. it's dead. it's old. and so we needed to break out of that form so that people would use the blog as a broader resource. so we started -- that was what i mean about form constraining. that is, scotusblog is on some level not a blog. it is an information service that has a plot inside a.
you can come and read each of the individual post but it was at that point we decided we could be much more. we could provide all of the briefs on the cases. now we take the integrated, we take the docket of the court itself. we scrape it and we have -- interlinear all the links to the briefs themselves. we do a lot more with multimedia, twitter, that sort of thing. we decided that because we don't have any body else that we work for, which is going to be electronic. we are going to be electronically -- with the peabody focuses on, as we can do anything we want. every year we try and change. this year we will roll out a mobile app, a mobile site, and a lot more multimedia technology. it's just been an evolution in what has interested us and what we been able to see other people do. >> continued on that, amy, would you describe kind of the variety
as the editor, the variety of content you want to provide for your audience? especially when the court is out of session in session, if you could describe the. >> covering the supreme court, the justices are quite busy for the most part from october until the end of june. june is a crazy month to blog, and without sometimes over a dozen posts in one day. in the justices go away on their summer vacation, unless we have the manna from heaven that the confirmation hearing, nothing related to the supreme court of the most part happens. and so we're always sort of looking at things in two ways. we are trying to cover what's going on at the court as comprehensively as possible. so as tom suggested, we have coverage for each case both in terms of archiving the brief but having a preview of a case before the oral argument, a big gap of what happened at the oral argument and then an analysis of
the decision when it comes out, whenever that is. then we have sort of a long-term look which is both looking ahead at what would happen at the court next term, and looking back at the big picture where this happened in the court in the previous term. we've got the day-to-day coverage also in terms of a round of the news and events of the court, the development of the court, things like finding a particular brief that might be significant. but then we've also got to fill the summers as we do so we called online symposium where we would get six or eight posts from people who know a lot about a particular area of the law. this summer we have a permanent action. we've got the results of limits case. we'll have legislative prayer, abortion, and we will try very, very hard to make sure that if we got eight distributes, we've got four from on one second forefront of the because we will hear from people if we don't
have near perfect balance. and we will let them write 1500 or 2000 words about what they think the court is going to become what they think the court should you in these particular areas, and we'll post that you try to fill some of the summer content spent ask a question about credibility. you are a single issue blog, and that allows for the types of depth of coverage that tom described. and the amount is based that traditional journalism, whether broadcast with news or tony find single stories with "usa today" offers you, but tell me about the recession of credibilicredibili ty. how has that changed over time? i would like the journalists to weigh in on that as well. >> i think the journalists are probably better suited than i am to describe the credibility. i think we had readers from all different walks of life, and in particular from the small community of lawyers practices
before the springboard pretty early on. we know that we had those readers because we get e-mails from them when we make mistakes in our early days. one of my darkest memories of a blog was probably back in 2003 or 2004, getting an e-mail from a well-known and well-respected supreme court practitioner is that you might want to take a look at the post one of your law students put up because he just referred to the church of latter -- sent us running to the computer to try to fix it. >> climbing jacob's ladder. [laughter] >> and so it was that sort of thing that happened and certainly could not have helped our credibility. i think that people probably look at quality based on a post-by post basis because we did have at the time some terrific contributors. but the quality was i think
diplomatically uneven. might be a way to describe it. i really do think that in 2004 when we got lyle to come on board our colleges and proved enormously. it becomes a self-perpetuating phenomenon, as our quality improved with liles reporting, then the other contributors improved as well. for those of you ar who are not going without operate, the court has roughly 80 cases per year, and so lyle is our boots on the ground at the court on a day-to-day development, and he covers i was a summer between thirathird and one half of the s themselves. the major cases. we rely on other lawyers and law professors to help us cover the other 50 cases or so. we really have gotten some terrific contributors to we've always had terrific contributors. the number has improved quite a
bit in years past. i think that probably is we see as a reflection of the increased credibility of the blog. >> i think tom and amy -- first of all, thank you very much for having this and for inviting me. i'm delighted to be. tom and amy the many things they will add one thing that if you just awfully is brag. the fact is, think about it for a second. tom does not come to practice before the supreme court by the usual group. he was not a clerk at the supreme court. he didn't follow the well trodden path from the white shoe law firm to the fancy clerkship to the big firm. tom is a self-starter. tom developed his practice by looking at the most likely route for cases to get to the supreme court and the lower courts are divided. one of the functions the supreme court sees for itself, harmonize how the law is enforced and viewed around the country. and so when that is what they
call a circuit split, that's a likely case for the supreme court. tom developed a way to analyze the circuit split and to start saying maybe that's th a case tt can come to the supreme court. a lot of big law firms in washington were killed in a scotusblog. they had the people to do it. they had the smarts to do. they didn't do it. so one of the things we have to celebrate here today i think is the incredible spirit of entrepreneurship that kind to have brought to this, and they will never tell you that. but having imitators that have tried to be like scotusblog that have fizzled out in the heat of the sun pretty fast. so it's an enormous the congressman and they make it sound like it was just as easy as making breakfast. but the fact is it's a remarkable accomplishment. it has enormous credibility now. it is read not only by the practitioners of cases we will find mistakes, if there are the rare mistakes now, but it's red
by the justices of the court. it's read by distinguished professors of law around the country who now write for the blog. so it is, it has become the place. it's more than just an aggregator. there are lots of aggregators out there that gather the work that other the work that of the people of that and post them on a sort of electronic let him board. there are lots of commentary places where law professors hang out and give their views on the prominent legal issues of the day, but there's only one place like scotusblog for any of the federal courts that offers original content, it offers learned commentary, that offers a place to find all the original source materials about cases. it truly has become the indispensable one-stop shopping place for things about the supreme court, and it's just an astonishing a culture. it strikes me as incredibly apt
that they would received a peabody award, because it is a truly remarkable a caution. now i forgot the question. >> the credibility over time -- >> it hasn't spent how does the journalistic community perceive this and -- >> let me say that -- i'll give you a small example. one of the things that gives the site credibility as tom and amy have very gently said is the contributions of a remarkable journalist named lila who is what, 150 years old. you can count the rings. he has covered the supreme court longer than some of the current justices have been a life. and he's an astonishing person who understands the legal issues. he thought at law schools. he writes learned, graceful prose under deadline pressure him and he's just an institution unto himself. so we do have to pay a lot of attention. let me give you one small
example. the supreme court community was shocked a couple years ago when a relatively young man named david souter had been on the supreme court just one day decided said i've had it, i'm out of here. i'm not having that much fun. i don't like living in washington and i'm eating. tom goldstein a few days later said that one day soon i'll indicate in would be sitting on the -- elena kagan would be sitting on the supreme court and would look at the other two women with myopic that was his prediction. i do know he was exactly right. so one of the things that gives the site its credibility is the knowledge and expertise of tom and amy. so that's another thing, it's not just tom and amy -- one of the reasons i think that they have fared so well is that one of thof the things that you musk at some of the answers their phone calls. there are lots of people in washington are experts on how
the supreme court works. they've known, and relatively small number of lawyers who practice, specialist and practicing before the supreme court, and you tend to see them over and over and over again. try to get one of them on the phone to answer a technical question about some arcane thing about how the supreme court works. tom has always been very generous with his time and i think that's one of the reasons why journalists have sort of flopped to tom and scotusblog in the early days before the blog took its current form because tom knows and amy know a lot about the supreme court works. they been very generous with their time. ..