Ruling on motions to unseal its records regarding six requests by Governors Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom to approve clemency grants, the Supreme Court today put the burden on Newsom to establish why the records should remain confidential.  The court directed the return of the six records to Newsom and ordered him “to resubmit [them] to the court no later than June 5, 2019, in the manner prescribed by California Rules of Court, rules 8.45 and 8.46.”  (Links added.)

Under those rules, and rule 2.550(d), a court can file a record under seal “only if it expressly finds facts that establish:  (1)There exists an overriding interest that overcomes the right of public access to the record; (2)The overriding interest supports sealing the record; (3)A substantial probability exists that the overriding interest will be prejudiced if the record is not sealed; (4)The proposed sealing is narrowly tailored; and (5)No less restrictive means exist to achieve the overriding interest.”

The court took the same action last December regarding the records of another clemency recommendation request.  Then, after Governor Brown had resubmitted the file, the court made public most, but not all, of the records.


“Full record now available for clemency reviews”