Posts tagged: open courts
A coalition of Idaho news organizations, including the Idaho Statesman, the Times-News, the Associated Press, the Idaho Press-Tribune and the Idaho Press Club, has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit between two major hospitals in Idaho in an effort to open court proceedings to the public and the press. The news groups filed a motion asking U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill to reverse a pretrial order he issued allowing the closure of the courtroom for some testimony, and to keep the proceedings open to the public.
The case pits the Idaho attorney general's office, the Federal Trade Commission and Saint Alphonsus Health System against St. Luke's Health System and its quest to purchase the Nampa-based Saltzer Medical Group. The trial began last week, and much of the testimony and proceedings have been closed to the public, purportedly to protect the trade secrets of the parties involved.
The attorney for the news organizations, Charles Brown, said in court documents that the public has a right to know what is going on behind closed courtroom doors in part because Idaho residents will be impacted by the outcome of the case. “Drawing a curtain of secrecy behind which the parties in this matter can operate simply does not comport with the requirements of the First Amendment nor Ninth Circuit case law as to the openness required of our judicial system but also the openness required of our government,” Brown wrote. Click below for a full report from AP reporter Rebecca Boone.