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Supreme Court Secretly Recorded, Video Posted on YouTube (Video)

Image: Supreme Court Secretly Recorded, Video Posted on YouTube (Video) Members of the Supreme Court, (L-R) Chief Justice John Roberts and associate justices Anthony Kennendy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Paul Stevens, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

By Michael Mullins   |   Friday, 28 Feb 2014 08:17 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court was secretly recorded on camera on Wednesday by the Occupy Wall Street-like activist group 99Rise.org and a video was later posted on YouTube.

The action flies in the face of the rules of the court which prohibit individuals from recording the court's public sessions.

In the 90-second clip the justices introduce the case of McCutcheon versus FEC, a campaign financing case in which Alabama Republican Shaun McCutcheon is challenging the current law that limits the total amount an individual can give to candidates and a party committee, which is currently $2,600 per candidate or $123,200 to a party committee.

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The brief secret videotaping of the proceedings was part of an apparent protest to the case by 99Rise.org, which at about a minute into the recording interrupted the hearing with one of its members standing up and addressing the court before security removed him.

"I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American people who believe that money is not speech, corporations are not people and our democracy should not be for sale to the highest bidder. Overturn Citizens United. Keep the cap in McCutcheon," the activist, identified in the video as Kai, said.

Considering individuals are searched prior to attending the hearings to prevent unauthorized recordings, there has yet to be any explanation given by the courts as to how the security lapse occurred.

"The court became aware today of the video posted on YouTube," court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said in a statement. "Court officials are in the process of reviewing the video and our courtroom screening procedures."

The justices reportedly ignored the incident.

According to Supreme Court officials, the last such disturbance occurred about eight years ago during an oral argument over an abortion-related issue, CNN reported.

Aside from various media outlets receiving permission to take pictures of the courtroom while it is empty, there have been only two cases in which photos were taken of the Supreme Court while in session. Both instances occurred in the 1930s and both involved cameras that were smuggled in, CNN noted.

While video or still shots are not permitted, the court does release an audio recording of arguments during the public proceedings at the end of every week.

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