The state Supreme Court has decided to close its administrative conferences.
The court's internal rules have permitted the seven justices to meet publicly to discuss administrative matters. On Monday the justices voted 4-3 Monday to adopt Justice Patience Roggensack's proposal to close the meetings unless a majority of justices approve opening them.
Petitions from outside groups seeking to change the court policies would still be considered in public.
The court has become bitterly divided over the last several years after four conservative justices, including Roggensack, seized the majority. Liberal-leaning Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and her ally, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, have been relegated to the sidelines.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)