Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Slightly more serious implications from the Jackson trial than just how few records he's able to shift in his home country: the ruling by the court that documents can be sealed in high-profile cases has been allowed to stand as a precedent for Californian courts.

In other words, if there's enough interest in a case, that level of interest would, in itself, be enough to force documents to be kept away from the public.

"It is a very dangerous precedent because it gives the court an opportunity to close out the public from critical information during a high-publicity trial," said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson. "This formalizes the celebrity exception to the First Amendment."

His fellow ne'er-do-well fame-hawks may well be lifting a glass of something bubbly to Jackson this morning. Indeed, this might be the only sort of public release we get to see in celebrity cases in the future:

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