This week on The Fringe I examine the problem of “secret” closed courts in the family court system. Who is watching what these judiciaries are doing if the press is kicked out of the courtroom? Why are judges allowed to treat their courtrooms like personal kingdoms?
Just this week, other members of the media and I were kicked out of two courtrooms that should have been open to the public, one was even a criminal bond hearing! There is no excuse for this secretive behavior by judges who are brazenly ignoring not only the U.S. Constitution that requires public trials but state Constitutions that say courts “shall be open.” And yes, they do this under the cover of legislation allowing them to do it for the “privacy of the child” but it violates the Constitutional right to open courts. Those laws should be challenged. Judge Judy allowed press into her family courtroom when she was a family court judge in New York. Judges with nothing to hide don’t keep media from watching them.
Why don’t we put body cams on judges to make sure they aren’t violating the rights of the citizens standing before them who are at the mercy of the court? If the press is not allowed to monitor judges’ behavior on the bench, who will? Join me on this week’s podcast to dive deep into the problem of closed courts.
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