The Supreme Court today ruled that records regarding its consent to Governor Jerry Brown’s pardon of former State Senator Roderick Wright might become open to the public.  The records are currently confidential, but the court put the burden on the Governor to keep them that way.  It ordered Brown to submit the clemency file to the court in two weeks “with any confidential records and records sought to be filed under seal being lodged in the manner prescribed by rules” on motions and applications regarding sealed and confidential records.

A California governor is constitutionally required to get the consent of a majority of the Supreme Court before he or she can pardon or commute the sentence of a twice-convicted felon.

The court ruled on a motion, filed last month by the First Amendment Coalition, that sought to unseal all gubernatorial clemency recommendation request records.  However, the court restricted its order to the Wright records, saying “the motion is denied without prejudice to the filing of a request or requests for access in a particular matter or matters in which access to the record is sought.”