Superior Court Judge Merita Hopkins’ chilling order prohibiting WHDH-TV (Channel 7) from airing its exclusive on the autopsy reports of two Boston firefighters has been overturned. John Ellement of the Boston Globe writes that Massachusetts Appeals Court Judge Andrew Grainger set aside Hopkins’ order with little comment, but that we can expect “a lengthier explanation” later.
I hope that explanation includes an acknowledgment that Hopkins ignored well-established First Amendment doctrine. Hopkins exercised prior restraint — censorship — in its rawest form. I also wonder, along with the Phoenix’s Adam Reilly, whether Grainger will say that Hopkins — former chief of staff and legal counsel to Mayor Tom Menino — should have recused herself from even considering the case.