The Arizona Court of Appeals recently ruled that a Maricopa County Superior Court judge should not have barred the media from mentioning a prosecutor’s name in its coverage of a high-profile murder case.

The prosecutor, Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Jeannette Gallagher, had asked

Judge Erin Otis to prohibit the media from using her name and image because Ms. Gallagher was the victim in a stalking trial in a different courtroom, and she wanted to shield the jurors in that trial from information about Ms. Gallagher.

The Arizona Republic, joined by the Associated Press, 12 News and Channels 3 and 5, appealed the ruling in a special action to the Court of Appeals. A special action is an expedited appeal of a judge’s ruling during trial.

“The Court of Appeals’ ruling underscores one of our bedrock protections under the Constitution—the right not to be censored by the government when reporting on public proceedings,” said attorney David Bodney, who represented the media in the special action.

“Such ‘prior restraints’ are the most severe and least-favored measures under the First Amendment, and the court’s opinion shows that the judiciary’s vital role in protecting this right is as important today as ever before,” Mr. Bodney said.

People