429 U.S. 1341 (1977), A-594, Houchins v. Kqed, Inc.

Docket Nº:No. A-594.
Citation:429 U.S. 1341, 97 S.Ct. 773, 50 L.Ed.2d 733
Party Name:Thomas L. HOUCHINS, Sheriff of the County of Alameda, California, Applicant, v. KQED, INC., et al.
Case Date:February 01, 1977
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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Page 1341

429 U.S. 1341 (1977)

97 S.Ct. 773, 50 L.Ed.2d 733

Thomas L. HOUCHINS, Sheriff of the County of Alameda, California, Applicant,

v.

KQED, INC., et al.

No. A-594.

United States Supreme Court.

Feb. 1, 1977

OPINION

[97 S.Ct. 773] Mr. Justice REHNQUIST, Circuit Justice.

Applicant Houchins is the sheriff of Alameda County in the State of California and in that capacity controls access of the press and public to the Alameda County jail. Respondents KQED, Inc., a nonprofit educational television-radio station, and the Alameda and Oakland branches of the NAACP, sued applicant in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in order to obtain an injunction granting KQED personnel access to the Alameda County jail at Santa Rita. The District Court granted respondents a preliminary injunction on November 20, 1975, which restrained applicant

"from excluding as a matter of general policy plaintiff KQED and responsible representatives of the news media from the Alameda County Jail facilities at Santa Rita, including the Greystone portion thereof, or from preventing KQED and responsible representatives of the news media from providing full and accurate coverage of the conditions prevailing therein.

Page 1342

". . . (F)rom denying KQED news personnel and responsible representatives [97 S.Ct. 774] of the news media access to the Santa Rita facilities, including Greystone, at reasonable times and hours.

". . . (F)rom preventing KQED news personnel and responsible representatives of the news media from utilizing photographic and sound equipment or from utilizing inmate interviews in providing full and accurate coverage of the Santa Rita facilities. (Applicant) may, in his discretion, deny KQED and responsible representatives of the news media access to the Santa Rita facilities for the duration of those limited periods when tensions in the jail make such media access dangerous."

Applicant sought a stay of this order in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and a two-judge panel of the court granted the stay on December 24, 1975, observing that:

"the injunction appears to exceed the requirements of the First Amendment as interpreted in Pell v. Procunier, 417 U.S. 817, 94 S.Ct. 2800, 41 L.Ed.2d 495 (1974) and Saxbe v. Washington Post Co., 417 U.S. 843, 94 S.Ct. 2811, 41 L.Ed.2d 514 (1974). Should the injunction be modified by the District Court, this Court will entertain a motion to lift the stay."

(1) Applicant's appeal was thereafter heard by a different panel of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the order of the District Court. Applicant filed a petition for rehearing and suggestion for rehearing en banc, and a motion for stay of mandate, all of which were...

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