August 20, 2010
A unanimous panel of California's 2nd District Court of Appeal has at last cleaned up a shameful legal mess, ordering L.A. County Superior Court Judge Hilleri G. Merritt to end her prior restraint on the Los Angeles Times. Earlier this month, after first granting The Times the right to photograph a criminal defendant appearing in her courtroom, Merritt changed her mind and ordered the paper not to publish the lawfully taken picture. The Times, showing more respect for the law than Merritt did, obeyed her order while it appealed, first to her to reconsider and later, when she refused, to the higher court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 2010 |
The California Court of Appeal on Thursday overturned a judge's order barring The Times from publishing "lawfully obtained photographs" of a murder suspect, calling the judge's actions "an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech. " Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Hilleri J. Merritt granted a request by L.A. Times photographer Al Seib during an Aug. 4 hearing to take pictures of Alberd Tersargyan, who is accused of killing three members of the same family as well as a prostitute on Sunset Boulevard.
August 7, 2010 |
There are judicial decisions you can ponder, others over which you argue, and some that just leave you shaking your head in slack-jawed wonder. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Hilleri G. Merritt's imposition of a prior restraint order on The Times falls squarely into the latter category. With the judge's permission, one of the paper's photographers shot pictures of a defendant charged with killing four people. Merritt then changed her mind and ordered the paper not to publish the images, despite the fact that the accused man's photo already has appeared on television and been posted on the Internet.
February 3, 2007
ON MONDAY, the California Supreme Court wrestled with a free-speech controversy that pits a Newport Beach street preacher against a restaurant she has accused of such things as serving tainted food (with a side order of child pornography) and having Mafia ties. Anne Lemen, who is challenging a court order prohibiting her from repeating these and other libelous statements about the Balboa Island Village Inn, isn't the most sympathetic crusader for free speech.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2004 |
Lawyers for news organizations asked an appeals court Thursday to strike down a gag order in the Michael Jackson child molestation case. The request called the edict by Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville an unconstitutional prior restraint on the freedom of speech of "third parties who have not yet appeared before the trial court or otherwise become subject to the court's jurisdiction."
November 27, 2002 |
No one with an ounce of sense would minimize the pain and loss endured by Americans in the post-9/11, post-Enron era that began so shockingly in Lower Manhattan a little more than a year ago. Nor should any sensible person dismiss the continuing peril posed by terrorists acting under the color of Islamo-fascism and by those corporate crooks whose deceits have betrayed -- and, in many cases, beggared -- millions of trusting employees and investors.