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

Loretta Rush stands with her arms crossed. She is a White woman with brunette hair, wearing glasses and a black judicial robe.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush has been encouraging local judges to make use of their new freedom to allow news cameras in their courtrooms.

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.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.