The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will now allow video and audio streaming of its arguments as of Dec. 9.

This is the first time a federal appellate court will allow the public to watch cases online.

Court officials said en banc proceedings will be streamed.

"En banc" is a French phrase meaning "in the bench," and it refers to oral arguments on cases that are considered so complex and important they warrant having all 11 judges present.

Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said he believes this is a matter of keeping traditional ideals in line with contemporary standards.

"You know what Sir (Edmund) Hillary said about Mount Everest, 'why climb it? Because it's there,'" Kozinski said. "It's sort of like Mount Everest...because we could."

He also pointed to the history that keeps many thinking of the court as the most progressive of the courts.

“We have had a very long tradition, so this did not happen all of the sudden.”Kozinski said. “The 9th Circuit has been on the cutting edge of allowing cameras in our courts in the early '90s. We were one of the first appellate courts to allow cameras.”

He also argued against opinions that said allowing video would distract from the proceedings.

“This is serious business, and lawyers are there to help their clients and win cases,” Kozinski said. “With 11 judges asking them tough questions, they have a busy enough time keeping up with the court.”

The court typically has about 20 en banc proceedings every year. Five of them will be scheduled next week, at the same time streaming debuts.

Streaming video of the court can be found here.