Gag rule rulled in cases of rape of young victims

The US Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 that states cannot require judges automatically to shut courtroom doors to the press and public when young rape victims testify.

Settling a sensitive conflict of competing constitutional rights, the justices struck down a Massachusetts law that ordered criminal court judges to close their courtrooms whenever victims of sexual assault under 18 were on the witness stand.

The ruling was a victory for the Boston Globe, which challenged the statute as an unconstitutional restriction on First Amendment press freedom guarantees. Restriction will now be made on a case-by-case basis.

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