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FORT WORTH (KRLD) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton may not like it, but he will have to live with microphones and television cameras in his security fraud trial.
Tarrant County Judge George Gallagher on Friday signed an order that allows broadcast media access to the trial. Gallagher is presiding over the trial, but it will be held in Collin County. While broadcast media is allowed to cover trials with microphones and cameras in Dallas County and Tarrant County, judges in Collin County normally frown upon such coverage.
Paxton himself objected to cameras and microphones in the courtroom back in August.
Media advocates welcomed the news. “I think it’s spot-on,” explained Frank Librio, president of the Dallas Press Club. “It’s the fundamental tenet of the First Amendment of the Constitution — the freedom of the press. This will allow the public to see, in real time, an elected official going before the court of law.”
The order allows one pool camera, a still camera and a microphone.
The judicial tolerance, though, has its limits. Gallagher’s order nixes other electronic devices that might allow reporters in the courtroom to use Twitter or email to describe what is going on in the. “Laptop and tablet computers and cell phones are NOT permitted in the courtroom at any time.” the order says. Click here to read the media order for yourself.
Paxton is accused of violating the state’s securities laws. A date for the trial has not been set.