In April 2009, Jackson New Media, publisher of the Mississippi blog Y’all Politics, filed a Motion to Intervene in State Farm’s suit against Jim Hood, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the State of Mississippi. Three television stations joined Jackson New Media as plaintiffs in the case: WLBT (Jackson), WLOX (Biloxi) and WDAM (Hattiesburg), now collectively “New Media”.
According to the Motion, New Media had “no forum within which it may seek to protect its free press and free access rights…under the Constitution of the United States and Mississippi Constitution of 1890, and free access rights under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983”.
SLABBED responded in a post supporting the removal of seals from all documents filed in Katrina-related litigation:
The public’s First Amendment right to access relevant court materials does not begin and end with State Farm v Hood. In fact, in the context of Katrina litigation, the case pales by comparison to the relevant court materials that have been sealed since the 29th of August, 2005, when Katrina blew apart homes and families, neighborhoods and communities…
Later in the post, SLABBED added, “Asking to unseal a single document will cause some to question the motives of this worthy effort…” and followed with a reference to State Farm’s use of sealed documents in a case current at the time the post was written. Continue reading “Jackson New Media and the effort to unseal records from State Farm v Attorney General Hood”