Scalia Apologizes

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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia normally bars television cameras from his appearances, but his policy on the use of small audio recorders has not been clear-cut. Newspaper and other print reporters typically use the devices to ensure the accuracy of quotations but not to record speeches or other remarks for broadcast.

Scalia said he may revise his policy to permit recording for use of the print media. His comments came in a letter to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

During the April 7, 2004, speech in Hattiesburg, Miss., a deputy federal marshal demanded that reporters for The Associated Press and The Hattiesburg American erase recordings of the justice's remarks. She said the justice had asked that his appearance not be recorded.

When the AP reporter resisted, the officer took the digital recorder out of the reporter's hands. The reporter then showed Marshal Melanie Rube how to erase the recording. The exchange occurred in the front row of the auditorium while Scalia delivered his speech about the Constitution.

The AP reporter, Denise Grones, had not received Scalia's letter Monday. In his letter to the journalists' advocacy group, Scalia said he had not directed the marshal to act.