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Photography Ban Outside Arizona Appellate Courts Criticized

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A new rule barring people from taking photos outside state appellate courts in Arizona is being criticized for limiting the rights of news organizations.

The rule issued on Oct. 16 by Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel prohibits photography on the grounds of appellate court buildings in Phoenix and Tucson, including images taken from sidewalks and adjacent parking areas.

Supreme Court spokesperson Aaron Nash says the ban wasn't intended to make the jobs of journalists harder but rather to guard against disruptions and protect the security and privacy of people who attend court proceedings.

Attorney Dan Barr, who specializes in First Amendment law, says the order infringes on the rights of news organizations, is impractical and hopes it would be reconsidered.

The ban doesn't apply to superior courts.

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