The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association are urging the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to ensure that journalists have access to all court proceedings related to the election.
In a letter sent to the AOPC on Nov. 5, the organizations emphasized that the public and press have a First Amendment right to review the dockets in those proceedings, review all filings in those proceedings, and attend and observe those proceedings when they are conducted (whether in court, telephonically or via video conference).
Paula Knudsen Burke, the Pennsylvania Local Legal Initiative attorney for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, made the following statement:
“Journalists and the public shouldn’t have to guess at what is happening with legal challenges related to the election. Technology exists to allow everyone to watch, listen and understand these weighty matters at a time when transparency in the election process is critical. Federal and state courts must use it to keep the courtroom accessible to the press and public.”