Washington Law Review

Article

In Washington State, Open Courts Jurisprudence Consists Mainly of Open Questions

March 01, 2013 | 88 Wash. L. Rev. 491

Issues of public trial and the open administration of justice have been an intense focus of the Washington State Supreme Court in recent years. In its December issue, the Washington Law Review surveyed U.S. and Washington State public trial and public access jurisprudence, and made recommendations for clarifying the constitutional issues involved when a courtroom “closure” occurs. Just before that issue went to press, the Washington State Supreme Court decided four important public trial cases: State v. Sublett, State v. Wise, State v. Paumier, and In re Morris. The court issued fourteen separate opinions, clearly demonstrating deep divisions among the justices. This follow-up article examines the principal arguments of the new opinions, identifies what areas appear settled, and discusses the important questions that remain unresolved.

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