Paula Lehman-Ewing reports in the Daily Journal about the Supreme Court’s rejection of then-Governor Jerry Brown’s bid to keep secret most of the files submitted to the court in support of Brown’s pardon of former State Senator Rod Wright. The court approved the pardon — which was a constitutional prerequisite to the clemency grant because Wright was a twice-convicted felon — last November.
The court concluded that “the public right of access overcomes the justifications provided for nondisclosure” regarding the Direct Pardon Investigation Report, the summary criminal history information, and the probation notice in the Wright record. The balance went the other way for additional documents because of what the court found was “an interest in maintaining the confidentiality of specific personal information and attorney communications contained within the records.”
Justice Joshua Groban was recused, probably because he was still a senior advisor to Governor Brown when the court recommended a pardon for Wright and when a motion was filed to unseal the record.