Maine Judge Bars Reporting of Court Testimony

The New England First Amendment Coalition on Tuesday denounced a recent court order by a Maine District Court judge barring journalists from reporting testimony given by witnesses during a public hearing.

According to the Portland Press Herald, the defendant requested that all media coverage of the domestic violence case be restricted. In response, Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz, the deputy chief of the state's district court, dictated to journalists present at the hearing on Monday what they could and could not report. When a Press Herald reporter protested the order and asked for time to contact legal counsel, Moskowitz denied the request and told all journalists present that those who did not comply with his restrictions would be ejected from the courtroom.

"There is a 100 percent chance this order is unlawful," said NEFAC's Sigmund Schutz, attorney for the Press Herald. "There is no question that the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts have been very clear, what occurs or is said in the court is a matter of public record." Continue>>>