Scalia Apologizes to
Monday, April 12, 2004
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
(search) has apologized for an incident last week in which a U.S.
marshal erased reporters' recordings of a speech Scalia gave to
high school students.
"I have written to the reporters involved, extending my
apology," Scalia said in a letter to the Reporters Committee for
Freedom of the Press (search).
Scalia normally bars television cameras from his appearances,
but his policy on the use of small audio recorders has not been
clear-cut. Newspaper and other print reporters typically use the
devices to ensure the accuracy of quotations but not to record
speeches or other remarks for broadcast.
Scalia's April 9 letter said he is "undertaking to revise my
policy so as to permit recording for use of the print media." The
letter arrived Monday, Reporters Committee Executive Director
Lucy Dalglish said.
During the April 7 speech in Hattiesburg, Miss. (search), a
deputy federal marshal demanded that reporters for The Associated
Press and the Hattiesburg American erase recordings of the
justice's remarks. She said the justice had asked that his
appearance not be recorded.
When the AP reporter resisted, the officer took the digital
recorder out of the reporter's hands. The reporter then showed
Marshal Melanie Rube how to erase the recording. The exchange
occurred in the front row of the auditorium while Scalia
delivered his speech about the Constitution.