From Tennessee Coalition for Open Government: Proposed rule change could erode access to court records, lawyers say

Some of the state’s leading news media attorneys are concerned that a proposed expansion of rules on public access to court records in Tennessee is overly broad and could erode access at the trial court level.

The Tennessee Supreme Court has proposed changing Rule 34 “Policies and Guidelines Regarding Appellate Judicial Records,” which defines certain court records not open for inspection, such as unpublished drafts of judicial orders and opinions, for appellate courts.

The changes would broaden the rule to apply to records maintained by the “clerks of the inferior courts” and add a new exemption for any records that “potentially undermine the inherent constitutional powers granted to the court…”