The power to grant clemency is one of the most awesome that an elected leader has. Yet for many years, the California Supreme Court has had a practice of automatically sealing records related to executive clemency. Under California's constitution, these records are submitted to the court whenever the governor seeks to grant clemency to felons who've been previously convicted more than once. Sometimes the Court approves and sometimes it does not, but because of the seal, the public has been kept in the dark about the basis for these decisions. That practice ended this year, as Thomas R. Burke, Rochelle Wilcox, and Selina MacLaren filed a successful motion on behalf of the First Amendment Coalition to unseal the records related to a clemency decision by outgoing governor, Jerry Brown. In a groundbreaking order, the state Supreme Court agreed to override the governor's objections and ordered him to provide public access to the vast majority of the clemency file. The Court has since granted several additional motions to unseal records, including clemency records submitted by current governor Gavin Newsom. Gov. Newsom is contesting the decision.