Wednesday, May 31, 2006

S.C. Supreme Court holds trial court erred in closing the courtroom to the press

In Ex parte Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc., the Supreme Court considered whether a trial judge was warranted in closing a suppression hearing because of concerns about racial issues and the "hot button" issue of domestic violence. The Supreme Court reversed and held that the reasons offered in support of closing the courtroom were insufficient to justify infringing upon the state and federal constitutional guarantees of open courts. The trial court's justifications were more accurately re-characterized as concerns regarding additional pre-trial publicity and its possible effect on being able to draw an impartial jury. Because closing the suppression hearing had no effect on preventing additional publicity of the trial, the trial court erred.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If this ruling applies to trial courts, how would the S.C. Supreme Court rule on a Tribal Court Judge only allowing those with a Tribal I.D. to be in the courtroom?