Kobe: Colo. High Court Bars Release of Transcripts to Media

In a 4-3 split decision, the Colorado Supreme Court today upheld a trial court's order in the Kobe Bryant Case prohibiting the media from publishing or disclosing the contents of transcripts of a sealed hearing disseminated to the media through a mistake by the court reporter--even though it is a prior restraint of press.

"This prior restraint is necessary to protect against an evil that is great and certain and would result from reportage," the court ruled.

Justice Michael Bender (formerly an esteemed Colorado criminal defense lawyer) wrote the dissenting opinion:

Justice Michael Bender .... said it was unfair to hold the media responsible if a court failed to do its job to protect confidential information. "The power the majority authorizes is the power of the government to censor the media, which is precisely the power the First Amendment forbids," Bender wrote.

The text of the decision is available here.

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