LET TRUTH BE TOLD
If the words of the Old English Proverb, “The Pen is Mightier than the Sword” are true, then a population should surely fear the suppression of the written word as much as they fear the restriction of arms. Many legal and political battles were fought during the Twentieth Century, demonstrating that many Americans hold both “Freedom of the Press” and “The Right to Bear Arms” in high esteem, because both are necessary to freedom.
However, while the rights to publish everything from daily news to pornography have been defended and protected, there are areas where the rights to publish are totally restricted. In our judicial system, judges at every level have the authority to ban publication of facts, by the use of non-disclosure agreements, gag orders, sealing of records, closed courtrooms and other restrictions on the publication of facts. Hardly a day goes by without disclosure that some public figure is hiding behind these barriers to truth.
So, who benefits from these suppressions of facts; the public or the miscreants? Is it in the public’s interest to shield a sexual predator, corporate thief, or corrupt politician, by banning publication of their misdeeds? How can we have free and open elections when politicians’ backgrounds are hidden behind court orders?
It is time for legislation to restrict the use of judicial fiats that prevent disclosure of truth.