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SCOTUSblog Kind of Has Press Credentials

The indispensable publication has "a complicated fix in place."

If you were glued to SCOTUSblog for Friday’s historic marriage-equality ruling, you weren’t alone: 54,000 readers were on at one point. But as indispensable as the DC-based publication has become for Supreme Court coverage over the years (it won a Peabody in 2013), it still, amazingly, does not have a permanent credential to cover the court.

For several years SCOTUSblog got by using reporter Lyle Denniston‘s credential for WBUR, while still trying to get its own. Last year the Senate Press Gallery–whose credentials usually pave the way for a Supreme Court pass–informed SCOTUSblog it would deny its application for a pass and would not renew Denniston’s credential. SCOTUSblog appealed, but the appeal failed.

Reached by email, SCOTUSblog Publisher Tom Goldstein says the publication now has a “complicated fix in place.” Denniston “has a pass based on his own law blog, from which we take his content,” he writes. SCOTUSblog Editor Amy Howe “gets ‘day passes’ for SB for the cases she is covering. So SCOTUSblog does not have its own press pass.”
The court, he says, has “created this system as a work-around.”

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Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.