Posts in Access to Courtrooms.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals earlier this week made an important statement in favor of courtroom access, affirming a lower court ruling that had declined to close proceedings in a family law dispute.  The decision, in the case of France v. France, was significant in that the parties had sought to close proceedings on the basis of a confidentiality provision in a separation agreement.

The parties to the case entered into a separation agreement in 2007, which contained various confidentiality provisions.  One obligated the parties to "use their best efforts so that any reference to ... Read More 

A bill that would generally allow electronic media coverage of U.S. Supreme Court proceedings passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 29. 

The bill, S. 446, provides:

The Supreme Court shall permit television coverage of all open sessions of the Court unless the Court decides, by a vote of the majority of justices, that allowing such coverage in a particular case would constitute a violation of the due process rights of 1 or more of the parties before the Court.

The bill as currently drafted would presumptively allow electronic media coverage of Supreme Court proceedings unless ... Read More 

The presiding judge closed a hearing Friday on whether to hold Andrew Young and his wife in contempt for failing to turn over a sex tape purportedly showing Rielle Hunter and disgraced former presidential candidate John Edwards consummating their much-publicized affair.  The hearing was held in Chatham County, North Carolina, and it was set in a lawsuit brought by Hunter to recover possession of the tape from Young.  Young, a former aide to Edwards, was apparently part of Edwards's misbegotten scheme to cover up his fathering of a child with Hunter, as Young originally claimed the ... Read More 

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a 7-2 per curiam opinion summarily reversing a Georgia Supreme Court decision that had found no error in a lower court ruling that emptied a courtroom during jury selection in a criminal case.  The case was notable in the short work the majority made of the notion that the Sixth Amendment right to a public trial somehow may not include the voir dire process or that applicable test is not clear.  The case therefore represents an important victory for access to court proceedings.

The case, Presley v. Georgia, involved a criminal trial in which a ... Read More 


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