Delaying Access to Court Records Violates Public’s First Amendment Rights
Participated in an amicus brief (with the Reporters Committee and other amici) filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Courthouse News Service, et al. v. Glessner. The case concerns recent amendments to Maine’s Rules of Electronic Court Systems (“RECS”) that delay public access to newly filed civil complaints. Courthouse News Service and other Maine media filed a complaint and motion for preliminary injunction in federal district court, challenging the amendments as unconstitutional to the extent they violate the public’s presumptive right to inspect court records under the First Amendment. The court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim and denied the motion. The amicus brief argues that the court erred in dismissing the media entities’ complaint. The brief further argues that strict scrutiny – rather than a time, place, and manner analysis – is the appropriate standard.