GOP Alters Court Audio for ObamaCare Attack Ad

Tampering with recording likely to irk justices
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2012 3:35 AM CDT
Updated Mar 30, 2012 3:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's very rare for the Supreme Court to make same-day audio of its sessions available, and it may become even rarer thanks to some Republican shenanigans surrounding the soundtrack from the ObamaCare hearings. A new GOP web attack ad extends a brief pause in Solicitor General Donald Verrilli's opening statements to some 20 seconds, adding extra coughs, sips of water, stutters, and "excuse me's" (according to a comparison of court transcripts and the ad), and concludes: "It seems that Obama’s lawyer hit a bit of a snag trying to defend the constitutionality of Obama's health-care takeover."

The trickery is pretty tame by the standards of political ads, but it's almost unheard of in the legal world. Analysts suspect it will make the justices less likely to allow recording devices in the future. "This ad is the justices’ worst nightmare,” a University of Minnesota political science professor tells Bloomberg. “It’s the reason why they don’t want cameras in the court." The Republican National Committee's communications director describes the ad—the first-ever to use Supreme Court audio—as a "mash-up" that shows Verrilli had trouble making his case. "Is it novel? Are we ahead of the curve at the RNC? I hope so," he boasts.

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