The U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that the public and the press have a First Amendment right of access to criminal proceedings, and that courts can restrict access only when there is a compelling governmental interest and the restriction is narrowly tailored to serve it. See, e.g., Globe Newspaper Co. v. Superior Court, 457 U.S. 596, 603, 606-07 (1982). The same right of access applies in civil proceedings as well, e.g., Publicker Indus. Inc. v. Cohen, 733 F.2d 1059, 1066-71 (3rd Cir. 1984), though the issue arises far more frequently in criminal cases.

The press has long been the vehicle for enforcing this right. But how does the press — rarely a party to the underlying case — seek appellate review of a trial court’s interlocutory decision denying access to a hearing or sealing confidential documents? Surprisingly, the circuits are split on this question, though they uniformly try to provide a timely appeal, cognizant of the press’s need for immediate access to an ongoing, newsworthy proceeding.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]