(AP) A newspaper that publishes material sealed by a court cannot be cited for contempt if the source of the information was not the sealed record itself, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
The ruling denied a request by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington to cite The Courier-Journal of Louisville for publishing material contained in a lawsuit by parishioners. The lawsuit alleges abuse by Catholic priests and claims the diocese didn’t do enough to prevent abuse.
The Aug. 24 article came eight days after the Supreme Court ordered that the information remain secret while the courts considered whether the Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader should have access to it.
The newspaper did not disclose the source of the information, but its lawyer said it hadn’t received copies of the sealed material.
In the 5-2 opinion signed by Chief Justice Joseph Lambert, the court said the order did not preclude any publication of the material because that would be prior restraint and raise First Amendment censorship issues.
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