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Conference closed to the public

Supreme Court justices hold court at Rockport conference

By Stephen Betts | Oct 17, 2017
Photo by: Franz Jantzen, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., third from left in front row, and Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer, far right, front row, were scheduled to speak Tuesday, Oct. 17, at a judicial conference at the Samoset Resort. The media were not allowed in to hear them speak.

Rockport — Two justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, including the chief justice, attended a judicial conference Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Samoset Resort.

But Susan Goldberg, the circuit executive for the First Circuit Court of Appeals, denied the newspaper access to sessions featuring Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and one by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.

Breyer was the scheduled luncheon speaker for Oct. 17 at the 2017 First Circuit Judicial Conference. Roberts was scheduled to speak later Tuesday at a session called a "conversation" with the chief justice.

Goldberg said conferences are not open to the media and that Roberts prefers no media at such events. She clarified her statements later in the day, saying it was the policy of the First Circuit for at least the past 20 years for such conferences to be closed to the media.

The First Circuit is a federal appellate court that covers Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico.

The newspaper made a request for the cost of the conference. Goldberg said she did not know the total cost but would get that information to the newspaper.

A judicial conference held in the 1990s at the Samoset when then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist spoke was open to the media.

Other topics for this week's conference included one by Yale law professor James Forman Jr. in a speech titled "Locking up our own: Crime and punishment in Black America."

The chief justice is a summer resident of Hupper Island off Port Clyde.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Oct 17, 2017 16:32

Wonderful! Wish I could have attended that historic meeting.

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