In this video the photographer is presented with a court order that says he cannot film jurors, but it would seem to me that that violates the first amendment.

Certainly the court could instead build something to protect the jurors from photography without violating the first amendment.


No, courts can't supersede or violate the Constitution.

However, courts do get to interpret the Constitution. The First Amendment has never been held to be an absolute right to film or photograph anything you want at any time; there are many exceptions. So in this particular court's own view, this is a valid exception and the order is not unconstitutional.

If the photographer feels that it is unconstitutional, he can appeal to a higher court, and that court will offer their interpretation. If the higher court agrees that the order is unconstitutional, the order will be invalidated and the photographer will be allowed to film.

You didn't ask for an opinion on whether this actually is unconstitutional, according to the Constitution as interpreted by courts, and I won't offer mine. But note for example that the US Supreme Court itself forbids photography in its courtroom (artists often make sketches instead and you can find many of them online). So we can certainly see that courts have held some restrictions on courtroom photography to be constitutional, in at least some cases.

  • The courts have generally held that the right to film from public is a freedom of the press, and that the government has no right to define who is "press" (see sandiegouniontribune.com/g00/…)
    – Sam
    Jun 13 '17 at 15:57
  • Well, the question was about whether courts can supersede the constitution, and my answer is: no. Whether this particular order actually does violate the Constitution is a separate question that you didn't ask. The photographer could certainly raise those points in an appeal. Jun 13 '17 at 16:23

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