Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Court of Appeal Holds Ban on Publishing Witness Testimony Unconstitutional

Who would have thought that a trial court could prohibit the publication of witness testimony by a single newspaper? An Orange County Superior Court thought so, but the Court of Appeal swiftly reversed the trial court's ruling, holding it an unconstitutional prior restraint, in Freedom Newspapers v. Superior Court (here). The Court's ruling reaffirms the important principle that the California Constitution gives more protection to free speech than the federal constitution. But since the trial court's order was plainly unconstitutional under both the federal and state constitutions, the court didn't have to spend much time on the provisions of the state's fundamental charter.

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