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Waller v. Georgia

Significance, Seven Days' Suppression For Two-and-a-half Hours Of Evidence


Guy Waller


State of Georgia

Petitioner's Claim

That the state's closure of a hearing to the public constituted a violation of the right to a public trial guaranteed under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Herbert Shafer

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Mary Beth Westmoreland, Assistant Attorney General of Georgia

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger, Thurgood Marshall, Sandra Day O'Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (writing for the Court), William H. Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

21 May 1984


That the conditions of the hearing closure failed justification under a set of tests developed in Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court of California (1984); and that the closure would not withstand Sixth Amendment scrutiny.

Related Cases

  • Gannett Co. v. DePasquale, 443 U.S. 368 (1979).
  • Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555 (1980).
  • Globe Newspaper Co. v. Superior Court for the County of Norfolk, 457 U.S. 596 (1982).
  • Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court of California, 464 U.S. 501 (1984).
  • Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court of California, 478 U.S. 1 (1986).


West's Encyclopedia of American Law. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing, 1998.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988