Minnesota SPJ has joined a host of other state news organizations–including the Star Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, KSTP-TV, WCCO-TV and many more–in a court motion seeking access to a meeting about Minnesota’s sex offender program that a federal judge has closed to the public.
More than two dozen public officials, including numerous state legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton, are expected at the Aug. 10 hearing. The stakes are high in this case because it involves fixing systemic problems within Minnesota’s sex offender program. The hearing is likely to be anything but mundane.
The motion, prepared by lawyers at Faegre Baker Daniels, drives home the point with a a quote from the late former Chief Justice Warren Burger: “People in an open society do not demand infallibility from their institutions, but it is difficult for them to accept what they are prohibited from observing.”
The Society of Professional Journalists, Minnesota Pro chapter, and a host of other news organizations in the state urge U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank to reconsider his decision to close the Aug. 10 meeting.
Update: Minnesota SPJ is disappointed by U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank’s rejection of media organizations’ court motion. Reforming Minnesota’s sex offender program is such an important issue that we urge the judge to keep future hearings in the case open to the public.