Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reporting for the Courts

Last Week the Globe had an article that the SJC was going to allow Cameras, and New Media to enter the Supreme Judicial Court arena. Rule 1:19 is where to find the details of the Amendment they made to the rule. I am thrilled with this. It might not be perfect but it establishes a request process and it establishes a form of Identifying Press in the Commonwealth and beyond. Hopefully, it will place a stampede to the seat for the Press. And that the contents will be accessible by the public somehow. And that the contents will be accessible by Litigants as well.

As a ground breaker in the process, I have taken the liberty I possess by Constitutional rights and have been speaking daily with the Powers that be that control this arena. I had a meeting in the spring with the information office of the Supreme Court. I dumped a pile of information off for them to consider on my efforts to track and archive public works video records at the Legislative level. I wanted to be able to be a part of the media pool that was given access to the Courts and wanted them to evaluate my request. I specifically stated that Media had changed and as we experienced changes in our information world the Courts should address the matter collectively.

Several members of Comflm, are accessing Courts and have met difficulty but are pursuing this. I personally, as head of Comflm, wanted to see a process that my members could apprise themselves of to be respectful of the Courts but be able to access it. I did not support being aggressive with this matter. I believe my approach has worked to affect the Legislature slowly over time and to take the matter seriously enough to stay with it until accomplished.

I have been regarded as a side attraction not a serious contendor at most points. I have much to say on the oppositional experiences I have sustained in this battle. It is a battle none the less, and the extreme consequences that can happen are foreseeable. However, the effects of the conversations with the Supreme Court Information Office are amazing. I relinquish my demands for affirmations at this time, as the progress is the higher order of business.

I exhort every citizen of the Commonwealth to examine the Supreme Court Amendment and make a comment. Even if they are swamped with comments, the effort will be clear to them the public are invested in this discussion and need to be recognized by the Court they have allowed to be elected by a Commission they have hired defacto. It is also possible for the Court to be removed by the people at any point with prejudice.

When it comes to the law, it turns slowly, so let's not let this urgent moment go by to address the January 28 deadline for public comment.

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