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Open & Shut

From the Winter 2001 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 56.

From the Winter 2001 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 56.

Funny, fascinating, nonsensical or notable, these are the Reporters Committee’s newsworthy quotes for the news media.

“Students didn’t get it though — when I asked them on an exam whether cameras should be allowed in the U.S. Supreme Court, many answered no, the cameras would affect the jury. So I learned what I needed to teach them as well.”

Larry Sokoloff, professor at San Jose State University, on cameras in the courts.

“We must never forget that the free flow of information is essential to a democratic society.”

President Bill Clinton, wrote in his veto message of a major intellegence spending bill in November 2000. A provision in the legislation would have made leaking government secrets a criminal act. The House Permanent Select Committee removed the language, and Clinton ultimately signed the revision.

“Our work will go smoothly this session because President Gnant and Speaker Weiers are committed to improving the law-making process. Thier work builds on the efforts last session by Senator Burns and the Arizona House to make the Legislature accessible on the Internet. I strongly support all measures designed to open government to the people.”

Arizona Gov. Jane Dee Hull, in her State of the State address on Jan. 8.

“When we need information or services from state government, we have a right to expect accuracy, efficiency and quality. E-government, information and services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will help meet our expectations and make things a little easier and a lot more convenient.”

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, in his State of the State address on Jan. 9.

“E-government will make state government more immediately responsive to the needs of our citizens. I have outlined four of the major priorities of our administration. But no strategy of governance can be complete without the full and open participation of the people and the press.”

Massachusetts Gov. Paul Cellucci, in his State of the State address on Jan. 17.

“Nobody has a First Amendment right to hear radio broadcasts from a station that does not have a First Amendment right to broadcast them.”

Judge Ronald Lee Gilman, U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati (6th Cir.) in U.S. v. Any & All Radio Station Transmission Equipment on Feb. 25, 2000.

“Courts should make sure they don’t require private information unless it really matters or if they do require it, that they block if from general access to people. You have to look at these open records and appreciate that there’s a difference between being literally open to anyone with a telephone and a $200 computer and somebody who’s willing to walk down and look in a building.”

Daniel Conley, an attorney with Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee, as quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Jan. 2.

We welcome your submissions of newsworthy quotes from the news media. Email to: openandshut@reporterscommittee.org . Fax to: (703) 807-2109.