News

Format: 2017-12-16
Format: 2017-12-16
October 5, 1993
MICHIGAN -- The state Supreme Court ruled in late September that the secret search for a new president of Michigan State University violated the state's open meetings and freedom of information laws. The Board of Regents, the public body that appointed itself as the Presidential Selection Committee, improperly closed its deliberations and decisions and held private interviews with candidates in violation of the Open Meetings Act, the justices ruled.
October 5, 1993
CALIFORNIA -- Four months after upholding a contempt citation against Rik Scarce -- a sociology doctoral student at Washington State University jailed since May 14 for refusing to answer grand jury questions about the animal liberation movement -- in mid- September the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco (9th Cir.) issued an opinion explaining its holding.
October 5, 1993
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A freshman congressman from Oklahoma in late September won a battle to scrap the House of Representatives' 63- year-old tradition of secrecy surrounding discharge petitions, which are filed by representatives who want bills stuck in committee brought to the House floor for action.
October 5, 1993
VIRGINIA -- The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors directed its staff in late September to find "a legal way" to ban distribution of the Washington Blade, a free gay newspaper, at the county library, or to abolish the Library Board of Trustees. The Virginia Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has written in protest to the board, calling the vote "an appalling act of governmental censorship and an abuse of authority."
October 5, 1993
GEORGIA -- A Superior Court judge ruled in late September that the police may withhold some details in several incident reports pertaining to an apparent serial rapist in Brunswick. Three incident reports should be released with the dates, time and street locations of the rapes, the judge ruled from the bench. Information such as the age and race of the victims or more specific details about the location of the crime, whether it occurred in a car or a house, should be kept secret, the judge ruled.
October 5, 1993
NEW YORK -- In late September the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York (2nd Cir.) upheld a defense lawyer's subpoena to journalists seeking notes and outtakes of filmed interviews with the lawyer, who has been charged with criminal contempt. In 1990 and 1991 the lawyer, Bruce Cutler, had sharply criticized the government's prosecution of his client, the notorious New York organized crime figure John Gotti.
October 5, 1993
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The federal government can keep secret most of a report that details the wartime activities of Kurt Waldheim, former secretary-general of the United Nations and former president of Austria, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., ruled in mid- September. In its decision the court expanded the government's ability to withhold records under Freedom of Information Act exemptions protecting deliberative materials and law enforcement activities.
October 5, 1993
NEW JERSEY -- A federal judge presiding in the fraud trial of Eddie "Crazy Eddie" Antar has refused to unseal the names and addresses of jurors, purportedly to keep the press from interviewing them. Antar was convicted of securities fraud in late July.
October 5, 1993
CANADA -- The American media and computer enthusiasts joined forces to disseminate information in two recent cases where the Canadian press has been gagged.
October 5, 1993
PENNSYLVANIA -- A mid-September meeting of the Fayette County Housing Authority in Uniontown ended in turmoil after the board voted to prohibit the use of video equipment during its meetings. After the authority unanimously adopted the policy, it adjourned for five minutes to allow the removal of all videocameras. However, a video crew from the Uniontown Herald-Standard refused to leave, citing its right to videotape under the state's Right To Know Law.
October 5, 1993
SOUTH CAROLINA -- The South Carolina Supreme Court unanimously approved an amendment to the state constitution in late September making cameras in the courtroom permanent after a successful year and a half long experiment. The South Carolina Press Association and Broadcaster's Steering Committee has worked with the state high court and the State Bar for the past five and a half years on the cameras in courts issue.
September 14, 1993
PENNSYLVANIA -- A York County judge halted exclusion hearings for immigrants at a local jail Aug. 31 because the facility's rules excluded the public. The hearings were moved to another location and opened the same day.
September 14, 1993
CALIFORNIA -- U.S. District Court Judge Eugene F. Lynch ordered a new trial in the labyrinthine libel case pitting psychoanalyst Jeffrey M. Masson against author Janet Malcolm. Masson had sued Malcolm for libel, claiming she had fabricated quotes attributed to him in her series published in the New Yorker magazine in 1983. In his early September ruling, the San Francisco judge also dismissed the New Yorker from the case, and ordered Masson to pay the magazine an estimated $20,000 in court costs, the New York Times reported.
September 14, 1993
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Attorney General Janet Reno, noting her commitment to open government dating from her years in Florida, the "Sunshine State," promised "complete review" of the Department of Justice Freedom of Information Act policy in response to a question at a press conference in late August.
September 14, 1993
VIRGINIA -- Five of the six candidates for three top statewide offices debated behind closed doors in late August. The debate, sponsored by the state Fraternal Order of Police, was apparently the first to be held in private in Virginia's modern history, political scientist Mark J. Rozell told the Washington Post. There was no press coverage of the event. Michael P. Farris, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, unsuccessfully attempted to open the debate to the press and the public. He considered tape recording the debate but decided not to participate.