In an argument worthy of Orwell's Animal Farm; Michael Jackson's lawyers argued, on Monday, that papers relating to the forthcoming child molestation trial should remain sealed until after the trial.
It seems that they are of the belief that because Michael Jackson is a "superstar", he should be treated differently from others (I am sure Martha Stewart must be wishing the same).
When the First Amendment was written it did not, if Jackson's lawyers are to be believed, take into account the concept and burdens of "superstar" status.
Robert Sanger, one of Michael Jackson's defence team, is reported to have noted that the case in not important enough to merit special attention; the only interest in the case seemingly comes from voyeurs.
To my view many, if not all, trials attract voyeurs; were that not the case newspapers around the world would not have daily columns reporting the latest cases, ranging from sensational murders to mundane disputes between neighbours.
The public's right of unfettered access to open court is essential to maintain confidence, and trust in the justice system. Remove that access, by conducting trials in secret, and you are one step closer to dictatorship.
The question must now be, what information is in the files that the defence team are so desperate to hide?