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Open & Shut

A collection of notable quotations From the Summer 2009 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 32. “A…

A collection of notable quotations

From the Summer 2009 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 32.

“A room that is so small that it cannot accommodate the public is a room that is too small to accommodate a constitutional criminal trial.”

— Leah Ward Sears, then-chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, opposing the exclusion of the public from a courtroom during jury selection in State v. Pressley in April.

“I’m telling you, Cuba has got more sunshine in the law than we have in Louisiana if you pass this bill.”

— Louisiana state Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, of proposed changes to the state’s open records law that critics claim would allow the governor to withhold more information from the public.

“You civil lawyers out there pay some attention: I don’t think that documents that are filed in the taxpayer-supported courthouse before a taxpayer-paid judge should be treated as private material unless there is some overwhelming public policy reason for doing so.”

— Abner Mikva, former Chief Judge of the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. and former member of Congress.

“We’re just going to try to find another angle — we’re just going to find some witnesses who aren’t cowards, like this student is, hiding behind the shield law.”

— San Francisco Police Lt. Mike Stasko, referring to a university journalism student who invoked the state shield law to avoid surrendering photos he took the day the day his subject was murdered.

“I knew visitor logs had been an issue in the previous administration, so I wanted to see how the new administration would handle it. . . And we both got identical denials.”

— Bill Dedman, MSNBC reporter, on his request for White House visitor logs under President Obama and then-President Bush.

“Our philosophy is if you are hiding something, then you’re probably doing something illegal, so our stance is we’re pretty open and we’ve been open with the students on campus and the faculty and staff to let them know where we stand. They trust us and understand we’re trying to do what is best in the interest of the university.”

— Jeff Crosbie, assistant athletic director at Utah State University, quoted in The Salt Lake Tribune. Conversely, a Columbus Dispatch report placed the University of Utah among the nation’s most restrictive campuses when it comes to releasing student -related records.