Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

U. S. District Court Denies Court TV Motion to Put Cameras in Courtroom in Intelligent Design Case

The judge presiding over the current intelligent design (ID) trial in the Dover (Pa.) school district has ruled that Court TV will not be allowed to televise it. Court TV had argued that the public had a strong societal and public policy interest in the case. Judge John Jones held that according to the Guide to Judiciary Policies and Procedures, the court's local rules and applicable case law, he could not allow the network to do so.  "First, the Guide is the official medium by which direction as to courtroom procedures and other information are provided to the Federal Judiciary in support of its day-to-day operations....Pursuant to the said policy, a judge may authorize broadcasting, televising, recording, or taking photographs in the courtroom and in adjacent areas during investitive, naturalization, or other ceremonial proceedings. A judge may authorize such activities in the courtroom or adjacent areas during other proceedings, or recesses between such other proceedings, only: (a) for the presentation of evidence;(b) for the perpetuation of the record of the proceedings;
(c) for security purposes; (d) for other purposes of judicial administration; or (e) for the photographing, recording, or broadcasting of appellate arguments." Neither did the judge find support for Court TV's request in the court's local rules or in case law.

Read his decision here.

Read other rulings dealing with the case at the court's website here.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/media_law_prof_blog/2005/09/u_s_district_co.html

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