CLEVELAND – Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia banned broadcast media from an appearance Wednesday where he will receive an award for supporting free speech.
The City Club usually tapes speakers for later broadcast on public television, but Scalia insisted on banning television and radio coverage, the club said. Scalia is being given the organization's Citadel of Free Speech Award.
"I might wish it were otherwise, but that was one of the criteria that he had for acceptance," said James Foster, the club's executive director.
The ban on broadcast media, "begs disbelief and seems to be in conflict with the award itself," C-SPAN vice president and executive producer Terry Murphy wrote in a letter last week to the City Club. "How free is speech if there are limits to its distribution?"
The City Club selected Scalia because he has "consistently, across the board, had opinions or led the charge in support of free speech," Foster said.
Cameras and recording devices are banned from the Supreme Court chamber, and Scalia prefers not to have camera coverage in other settings, said Kathleen Arberg, spokeswoman for the court.
Scalia made the same demand on John Carroll University, where he spoke Tuesday night. He talked mostly about the constitutional protection of religions, but also said that government has room to scale back individual rights during wartime without violating the Constitution.
"The Constitution just sets minimums," Scalia said. "Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires."