01A

A. The First Amendment presumption of access

A. The First Amendment presumption of access

Overview

Mississippi

The Mississippi Supreme Court has stated that “Freedom of the press and speech are fundamental rights guaranteed by the First Amendment,” and that “this constitutional right of speech and the press is satisfied by allowing the press to attend the trial and report what they have heard.” Associated Press v. Bost, 656 So. 2d 113, 117 (Miss. 1995). However, the court continued, “there is no constitutional right to have testimony recorded and broadcast.” Id.

A. The First Amendment presumption of access

Overview

5th Cir.

The 5th Circuit has affirmed that there is a constitutionally-embedded presumption of openness in judicial proceedings. Doe v. Jackson National Life Insurance Co., 944 F. Supp. 488 (S.D. Miss. 1995), aff’d sub nom. Deramus v. Jackson National Life Insurance Co., 92 F.3d 274 (5th Cir. 1996). Therefore the news media is entitled to observe, investigate, and report on all public proceedings involved in a trial. U.S. v. Chagra, 701 F.2d 354, 361 (5th Cir. 1983);see also U.S. v. Edwards, 785 F.2d 1293, 1294 (5th Cir. 1997).

A. The First Amendment presumption of access

Overview

Florida

The Florida Supreme Court has, of course, acknowledged that the Richmond Newspapers decision established a First Amendment right to attend criminal trials. Most Florida decisions discussing access to judicial proceedings, however, are grounded in Florida’s strong common law rights of access to all stages of criminal and civil proceedings and that common law right is discussed in greater detail below.

A. The First Amendment presumption of access

Overview

Georgia

The Supreme Court of Georgia has consistently recognized that the public and press have a presumptive First Amendment right of access to judicial proceedings in criminal cases. See Rockdale Citizen Publishing Co. v. State, 266 Ga. 579, 581 (1996) (“We must do our very best to hold fast to the values embodied by the First Amendment even in extreme and painful cases, because we cannot suspend it and remain all that we strive to be.”). In R.W. Page Corp. v. Lumpkin, 249 Ga.

A. The First Amendment presumption of access

Overview

North Carolina

In a civil right of access context, the North Carolina Supreme Court has applied by analogy U.S. Supreme Court precedent on the First Amendment presumption of access in criminal cases—i.e., a heightened standard of scrutiny in favor of disclosure absent a compelling public interest. See Virmani v. Presbyterian Health Servs. Corp., 350 N.C.449, 481-82 (1999).