Originally posted on December 15

The Supreme Court today denied a petition for review in a writ proceeding seeking to require the Los Angeles Superior Court to reinstate its program, instituted during the pandemic, that allowed the public to listen to hearings remotely.  Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Justice Carol Corrigan were recused, possibly because they are both members of the Judicial Council, which has been assessing remote court proceedings, including at its last meeting.

The petition — USA Today v. Superior Court (Spears) (yes, the case arises out of the Britney Spears conservatorship matter) — argued that the public and the media have the constitutional right to attend nonconfidential court proceedings and that it was an equal protection violation to end public remote access while continuing to allow remote access for parties and attorneys.  The petitioner claimed the public and the media “must risk their health by observing proceedings in person during a surge in the pandemic.”

The Second District, Division Two, Court of Appeal summarily denied USA Today’s writ petition in September.

[Updated with link to the petition for review.]