B. Pretrial proceedings

Overview

Courts have extended “the First Amendment right of access to preliminary hearings, suppression hearings, bail and detention hearings, competency hearings, and plea hearings. Today, almost all pretrial proceedings are presumptively open.” Dienes, Levine & Lind, Newsgathering and the Law § 3.01[1] (3d Ed. 2005) (collecting cases).

For example, the Supreme Court recognized the right of access to preliminary hearings in criminal cases in Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court (Press-Enterprise II), 478 U.S. 1, 13 (1986); see also El Vocero de Puerto Rico v. Puerto Rico, 508 U.S. 147, 149 (1993) (rule requiring probable cause hearings to be closed is irreconcilable with Press Enterprise II); Waller v. Georgia, 467 U.S. 39, 47 (1984) (“under the Sixth Amendment any closure of a suppression hearing over the objections of the accused must meet the tests set out in Press-Enterprise and its predecessors”); U.S. v. Criden, 675 F.2d 550, 557 (3rd Cir. 1982) (“[w]e believe that, under the reasoning adopted by the Court in Richmond Newspapers, the public has a first amendment right of access to pretrial suppression, due process, and entrapment hearings”); In re Herald Co., 734 F.2d 93, 99 (2nd Cir. 1984) (“the First Amendment extends some degree of public access to a pretrial suppression hearing”);In re National Broadcasting Company, Inc., 828 F.2d 340, 345 (6th Cir. 1987) (concluding “that there is a qualified right of access to documents and records that pertain to a proceeding in which one or more parties seek to disqualify a judge for bias pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 144”); Seattle Times Co. v. U.S. Dist Ct., 845 F.2d 1513, 1517 (9th Cir. 1988) (“the press and public have a right of access to pretrial release proceedings and documents filed therein”).

6th Cir.