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Georgia Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in Grinstead gag order case

Tara Grinstead/Allen Carter

ATHENS, Ga. -- On Tuesday, the Georgia Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case against the gag order in the Tara Grinstead case.

Local media organizations in Macon and Atlanta are at odds with the court system in the case Grinstead, a former high school teacher and beauty queen who went missing in October 2005.

Oral arguments in the case are set to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 24 regarding the gag order that has been set in place in what is intended to be an effort to keep a fair trial for Ryan Alexander Duke, who has been charged with the murder of Tara Grinstead. The gag order prevents parties involved in the case from speaking to the media.

Attorneys for the media say that the current gag order has been modified but remains an "improper and unconstitutional prior restraint."

“The modified gag order in this case is a prior restraint that both limits certain individuals’ rights to speak about the case and impairs the media’s ability to gather the news,” the attorneys argue. “It therefore should have been subjected to strict scrutiny.”

Duke's attorneys argue, however, that they are just doing whatever they can to ensure their defendant has a right to a fair trial.

Oral arguments will take place at the University of Georgia School of Law in Athens as part of an effort by the Georgia Supreme Court to make its business and practices more accessible to the public.

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