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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Gannett Co.
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
Facts of the Case 

Two suspects charged with murder, robbery, and grand larceny requested that the public be excluded from a pre-trial hearing concerning the admissibility of evidence. They argued that an "unabated buildup" of adverse publicity had jeopardized their ability to receive a fair trial. The request was granted by the judge, and no objections were made at the time. The judge then denied press access to the pre-trial hearing and refused to immediately release the transcript of the proceedings. The case was argued and decided with Marshall, Secretary of Labor v. American Petroleum Institute et al.


Did the press and members of the public have a constitutional right under the Sixth Amendment to attend the trial?

Decision: 5 votes for DePasquale, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Amendment 6: Other Sixth Amendment Provisions

The Court held that members of the public had no right to attend criminal trials under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court noted that judges had "an affirmative constitutional duty" to minimize the effects of prejudicial pretrial publicity, and that closure of pretrial proceedings was an effective method to do so. The Court found that the Sixth Amendment, while granting defendants the right to a public trial, did not imply a public right of access to trials. The Court added that since the suppression of the transcript was only temporary, no violation of the First Amendment had occurred.

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GANNETT CO. v. DEPASQUALE. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <>.
GANNETT CO. v. DEPASQUALE, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 25, 2015).
"GANNETT CO. v. DEPASQUALE," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015,