In New England, states at the forefront of giving access include Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, according to the New England First Amendment Coalition. They allow the public to attend either by listening in over the phone or watching the proceedings online. Access numbers or weblinks are provided by the courts.
The organization, which promotes public access to the government’s work, said that almost a year into the pandemic, courts should have already worked out how to provide public access to hearings.
“That’s far too long for any state to go without establishing some kind of consistently enforced policy that allows the public to access its court system,” said NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman. “Other states are providing that access, so it can be done,” he said. “It should be done, and the public should demand that it be done not months from now, not weeks from now, but done now.” [...]