Court TV Loses N.Y. Camera Suit


The New York State Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that no constitutional rights are being violated by keeping television cameras out of the courtroom.

Court TV sued the state and the Manhattan district attorney's office in 2001, arguing that the ban is an infringement on protected freedoms and tells news organizations how to gather the news.

In its 7-0 decision, the court said it is the Legislature's job to decide whether trials may be televised.

“While we are, of course, disappointed that the Court of Appeals did not rule that the over-50-year-old New York State statute is outdated and unconstitutional on its face, we are delighted with their ruling that this is an issue that would be most properly remedied by the legislature,” Court TV chairman and CEO Henry Schleiff said in a prepared statement.

“We completely understand the court's reluctance to act in place of the legislature in providing a remedy to our state's citizens, and we hope that our legislative representatives will now respond accordingly in providing the same access to our trial courts as exists in the vast majority of our other states,” he added.

Schleiff continued, “Finally, we believe we should be proud of the American system of justice, and that there is no substitute for our own eyes and ears when it comes to seeing how our system works. Indeed, United States Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis was right when he said, 'Sunshine is the best disinfectant.’”