Dec 11, 2008

Bad judgment

A Ventura County Superior Court judge has issued an order to block the Ventura County Star from publishing details of a gruesome murder contained in a police search warrant. Judge Kevin Riley apparently refused to hear the paper's First Amendment arguments before handing down his decision. Said Star editor Joe Howry:
"Judge Riley's illegal order is a blatant violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled time and again that no branch of government, including the judiciary, has the right to prior restraint of the publication of information, except in extreme situations such as war. Further, Judge Riley issued this order in a closed hearing that did not allow The Star any opportunity to present its case, nor did he recognize the fact that the information was already made public by another media. We will fight this illegal action vigorously."
Earlier, Judge Riley took the unusual step of sealing portions of the warrant and its supporting affidavits at the request of attorneys in the case. An appellate court overturned his decision at the Star's request.

(via LA Observed)

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