SPJ NorCal Joins Coalition Urging California Courts To Ensure Public Access Amid COVID-19 Emergency

The First Amendment Coalition and 10 other advocacy organizations, including SPJ NorCal, called on the California judiciary today to recognize  the public’s First Amendment right of access to court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Courts across California are halting proceedings, restricting access to buildings and holding some hearings telephonically, raising concerns that members of the public and the press, who are exempt from the state’s stay-at-home order, will face insurmountable barriers to access. The First Amendment and California law guarantee a public right of access to criminal and civil court proceedings, as well as records relating to those proceedings.”

Read the full statement here.

The coalition was led by FAC and also includes:

Californians Aware

ACLU of Northern California

ACLU of Southern California

ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties

California News Publishers Association

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Informed California Foundation

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Society of Professional Journalists, Greater Los Angeles Chapter

and the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter

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