Mass. High Court Guards Privacy Of Judges' Deliberations

Law360, New York (August 9, 2012, 10:43 PM EDT) -- The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Thursday that the state's judges do not have to reveal the deliberations behind their decisions because judicial deliberative privilege protects them from such scrutiny.

The seven-judge panel found that although judges can be held accountable for potential bias in their decisions, they do not have to disclose their deliberative processes because such privacy would support their constitutional duty to be impartial and independent.

"We formally recognize a judicial deliberative privilege that guards against intrusions into such processes — a protection we have implicitly understood as necessary to the finality, integrity and quality of judicial decisions,"...

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