Debate continues on use of House video | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Debate continues on use of House video

Posted By on Thu, May 5, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Roby Brock has a most interesting discussion by House members of the state House rule to prohibit certain uses of the vast new amount of House video of committees and the full House in action.

Since the House is majority Democrat, Republicans had been quick to make this a partisan issue and depicted Democrats as anti-First Amendment. They hunger to put film clips to use in political ads. This is, of course, a two-edged sword. Also, the Republicans haven't noted, many Democrats oppose the policy, too.

Congress restricts use of filming in its halls, several have noted, as does the Republican-controlled Texas legislature.

My thought is that the films should be open to all for whatever use. Forget what the law allows. The House would have a hard time — politically, if nothing else — taking action against someone who used a clip of public House action in a campaign commercial.

Tip of the hat, however, to Republican Rep. Davy Carter, the perennial adult in GOP conversations, for not reflexively adopting his party's talking point on the issue.

Rep. Davy Carter (R-Cabot) an attorney and member of the House Rules Committee, disagrees that the new policy is incompatible with the First Amendment. He noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has held in several contexts "that a legislature's decision not to subsidize the exercise of a fundamental right does not infringe the right, and thus is not subject to strict scrutiny."

“Speaking in only terms of the First Amendment, I think fundamentally there is a difference between the government choosing to not supply its property for commercial uses than the government first supplying the property and then restricting its use. Having said that, I do recognize that the question becomes less clear when dealing with political speech,” Carter explained.

But he also addressed the practical end of the equation — tough scrutiny is the price of public service.

“Regardless of the legal question, respectfully, this is not a matter that I am particularly concerned with. Although I am sure I would not like someone using the video in an adversarial political advertisement, especially one taken out of context, as a public official it comes with the territory,” Carter said.

Good liberal Reps. Kathy Webb and Jim Nickels are among the Democratic reps faulting the restrictive rule. Nickels further wants video of ALL House committees, not just a few. And, I hope we'd have bipartisan agreement that it's time for the state Senate to enter the video age, too.

Tags: , , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Now, the main event

    I write Tuesday morning, before polls close on primary and judicial election contests.
    • May 24, 2018
  • 16 sheriffs endorse Asa Hutchinson

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson had a campaign event todasy to announce an endorsement by 16 of the state's 75 sheriffs, including retiring Sheriff Doc Holladay of Pulaski County (a Democrat).
    • May 23, 2018
  • The line is open

    Here's the open line today. Lots of news today. Check it out on the daily video.
    • May 23, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas Supreme Court refuses to rehear invalidation of marijuana act

    The Arkansas Supreme Court today denied a request to rehear its decision invalidating Issue 7, the medical marijuana initiated act.
    • Nov 3, 2016
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation