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Globe Newspaper Co. v. Superior Court

United States Supreme Court
457 U.S. 596 (1982)


Facts

Under § 16A of Chapter 278 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the press is not allowed in a courtroom when a victim younger than 18 years old is testifying in a trial involving sex crimes. Pursuant to § 16A, the trial judge is required to deny the press access to the courtroom during the victim’s testimony. The rule is mandatory and does not depend on the victim’s objection to the press being present. During a trial in which a criminal defendant was charged with the forcible rape of three minor girls, Globe Newspaper Company (Globe) (plaintiff) was denied access to the courtroom by a closure order from the Superior Court for the County of Norfolk (defendant). The Globe moved that the trial court revoke the closure order but was denied. The Globe appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, which found in favor of the superior court. The Globe appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which vacated and remanded the decision. The supreme judicial court dismissed the Globe’s appeal, and the Globe again petitioned the Court for review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

Dissent

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