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Limits Put On Right To Information In Trials


In Nixon v. Warner Communications Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court rejects an argument by ABC, CBS, NBC and other broadcasters that they are entitled under the Sixth Amendment to obtain complete copies of audiotapes made by the Nixon White House. The tapes, made in the Oval Office, recorded conversations that were used as evidence in the Watergate prosecutions of high-level White House officials. Only certain parts had been played for the jury and introduced as evidence. The broadcasters wanted all of the tapes to be released so they could report on the parts that had not been made public. The Court says the guarantee to a public trial only goes as far as what the reporters saw and heard at the trial.