The Arizona Supreme Court this afternoon released a NEW Order easing restrictions on photography, videography and live-streaming on the courthouse steps (and elsewhere near the court), after an October uproar about an order banning such activity.
The new Administrative Order will still prohibit activity in those more public areas if it "threatens any person, disrupts court operations, or compromises court security at entrances and exits and on patios, steps, and adjacent parking areas."
AZ Law followed up with the Court, and Dave Byers, the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, explained: “The wording of the first version of the administrative order drafted by court staff was not clear enough and caused legitimate confusion. We listened to the concerns raised and redrafted the order, after seeking additional input, hopefully clarifying the issues."
Attorneys expressed concerns that the original order restricted the freedom of the press, and Phoenix media attorney Dan Barr suggested the restriction would be unconstitutional.
Barr told AZ Law this afternoon that he is grateful: "I greatly appreciate that the Supreme Court listened to our concerns and took out the language concerning photography outside the courthouse. The new order rightly focuses on disruptive conduct outside the courthouse as opposed to photography. I thank the Supreme Court for quickly fixing what was an unintended consequence of its original order."
Aaron Nash, the Court's Communications Director, tells AZ Law that he had spoken with members of the public who were planning to come to protest last month's Order, and that "everyone I spoke with on the phone was respectful in discussing their concerns and were relieved to hear they could come and record – that the order was not a ban on that activity."
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