A case recently argued before the Vermont Supreme Court raises the question of when a court’s decision can and should be kept from the public.

The case involves video footage of a police shooting captured by WCAX. Washington County State's Attorney Rory Thibault then subpoenaed the video through an inquest—a secret investigative tool. Gray TV, the parent company of WCAX, fought the subpoena and won because of a media shield law enacted in 2017.

The superior court judge sealed the decision to quash the subpoena because it was done through an inquest.

Gray TV lawyer Chad Bowman says that while the proceedings and information uncovered during an inquest can remain confidential, the court's decision should be public.

"The most important aspect of a case is the court's decision. There are cases in our briefs from around the country that, if nothing else is public, the court's decision should be public," he said.

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