The judge overseeing Michael Blagg's second murder trial has ordered strict constraints on public access following an argument from defense attorneys that having cameras in the courtroom would make it difficult to keep jurors from being exposed to the years' worth of media coverage in his case.

First Judicial District Judge Tamara S. Russell on Feb. 14 denied requests from two media outlets to record video and audio of the trial for Blagg, who is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2001 killing of his wife, Jennifer.

"This produces an irony that turns the First Amendment on its head: the greater the public interest in a case, the less able the public is to monitor it," wrote Ballard Spahr Partner Steven D. Zansberg.

"That category of prohibition, ironically, is likely to produce more rather than less disruption in the courtroom, as reporters will leave the courtroom more frequently to provide readers with timely updates of the proceedings," he wrote. "Their silent tweeting from the courtroom, in contrast, is essentially unnoticed."

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