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Wyoming, Iowa Court Rulings are First Amendment Victories

State courts in Iowa and Wyoming this month have upheld the media’s right to open court proceedings and to photograph court cases. The rulings, though local in scope, are major First Amendment victories for journalists and media organizations. In Wyoming, the state Supreme Court overturned a lower court judge's decision to close his courtroom and seal the file in a sexual assault case. In Iowa, a judge reversed another judge's ruling that threatened a photojournalist and his newspaper with contempt of court if they published pictures from a sexual abuse hearing involving a local mayor.