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Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court of California, Riverside County

464 U.S. 501 (1984)

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Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court of California, Riverside County

United States Supreme Court

464 U.S. 501 (1984)

Facts

Albert Greenwood-Brown was charged in California Superior Court with raping and murdering a teenage girl. Press-Enterprise Co. (plaintiff) moved for open voir dire proceedings for the trial. The state opposed the motion. The trial court (defendant) only allowed Press-Enterprise to attend general voir dire and decided that special, individual voir dire would be conducted in private. Out of six weeks of voir dire, only three days were open to the public. After voir dire concluded, Press-Enterprise moved for a full transcript of the voir dire proceedings to be released. The court denied the motion despite admitting that most of the transcript did not implicate privacy concerns. The court considered two interests in its closure order and order denying a transcript—the right to a fair trial and the right to privacy of prospective jurors—but did not articulate the threat that open voir dire posed to those interests or consider whether alternative measures would provide adequate protection. Press-Enterprise petitioned the court of appeal for a writ of mandamus. The petition was denied. Press-Enterprise petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, which was granted.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Burger, C.J.)

Concurrence (Marshall, J.)

Concurrence (Stevens, J.)

Concurrence (Blackmun, J.)

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