NY Courts Agree with Common Cause NY: Courts Must Publish Daily Transcripts from Trump Trial

Courts should uphold commitment to transparency for all trials - not just Trump trial - and make all court proceedings accessible to public

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NEW YORK, NY (04/22/2024) (readMedia)-- Today, New York State courts announced that transcripts in the matter of People v. Donald Trump will be made available to the public. In response, Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause New York, issued the following statement about the need to apply this decision to all state trials:

"The Court's decision to publish daily transcripts of the ongoing criminal case against Donald Trump is a major victory for New Yorkers – and exactly why we sued for them to be public. Posting the daily transcriptions online will provide transparency, ensure fairness, deliver a greater understanding of trial proceedings and instill confidence in the judicial system for all. But the Court's decision should not apply in special cases only. New Yorkers deserve access to the everyday court proceedings that impact them, which is why the state must join the vast majority of other judicial systems across the country and make written transcripts of all trials available to the public, and ultimately permit proceedings to be broadcast."


Earlier this week, Common Cause/NY and New York Focus, a nonprofit newsroom, filed a joint motion with the New York Supreme Court for the court to post the transcripts from the ongoing Trump trial on the Unified Court System (UCS)'s webpage at the end of the day, or 48 hours after so the Court can correctly redact. The motion, which was delivered to the judge in the criminal case, argues that the public is entitled to full court transcripts free of cost since the defendant, former president Trump, has sowed doubt in the public's perception of the media. Daily publication of the transcripts, in turn, would offer unbiased reporting from both left-wing and right-wing outlets. Read the full application attached.

New York State is one of the only jurisdictions in the country that does not allow visual or audio coverage of court trials. Right now, if a person or media company wants access to any court transcripts, they must purchase the transcripts from court personnel at a per page cost. They cannot share the transcripts publicly, and the media can not share copies with the public. During the pandemic, New York courts allowed audio recordings of trials to be made public, but the state has since reversed that policy.