Sealed by court decree

By Staff
Sept. 2, 2001
Some politicians must consider themselves to be very special people because they have discovered the secrets of power. They must think they breathe molecules of rarified air. They must think their high station in life exempts them from the rules under which everyone else must live.
Gov. Ronnie Musgrove must think he is one of those people.
Let us state for the record that we have no interest in reading the details of his divorce from his wife of 24 years, the former first lady. We will neither speculate nor worry much about why his marriage failed.
But we do worry that special people like Gov. Musgrove are able to persuade judges to close official records that are almost always open. The details of his divorce, now final, have been sealed shut by a Hinds County chancery judge. Court clerks say all details about the case are closed to the public, including the name of the judge who ordered the file sealed.
For better or worse, no pun intended, details of most divorces are public record because they are filed in a public domain supported by public money. The U.S. legal system was designed to be open for public scrutiny. Courts in Mississippi operate because taxpayers' money pay the judges' salaries. We don't remember a case, perhaps some lawyer can tell us otherwise, when a judge refused to divulge his own name. Of what is he or she ashamed?