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Court TV appeals photo ban

NY state rules: no cameras

NEW YORK — Court TV will appeal to a higher court a New York State Supreme Court decision banning cameras in trial court.

Decision handed down Tuesday by Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich ruled the camera ban was constitutional. In September 2001, Court TV filed suit against the state and its three chief law-enforcing officials: Gov. George Pataki, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and New York County DA Robert Morgenthau.

Suit was the first to question the statewide ban, and Court TV argued that it violated First Amendment rights. New York is one of 11 states that do not allow cameras in trial courts. Cameras are allowed in most appellate courts nationwide.

“We are, of course, disappointed by the lower court’s ruling, which we will now appeal,” said Court TV chairman-CEO Henry Schleiff. “We continue to believe that the citizens of the state of New York should have the same camera access to our courts as do the citizens of the vast majority of other states.”

Cameras were allowed in New York trial court from 1987-97 as part of a 10-year experiment to gauge their impact. Kornreich said he believed the information gathered during this period justified restricting audiovisual courtroom coverage.

Court TV is represented by legal eagle David Boies, who most recently wrapped up the Spike TV settlement for Viacom.

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