Four cases starting in 1948 have established the basic principles regarding the right to a public trial. These decisions have defined both the defendant's rights and the public's right of access to criminal trials under the First Amendment. In 1974, Congress passed the Speedy Trial Act, which established a prosecutorial deadline of 30 days for setting a trial date. Congress has also listed specific exceptions, resulting in flexibility in measuring the speed of proceedings. In the future, the defendant's right to request a private trial is likely to be narrowed further. In addition, the courts are likely to continue to protect the right to a speedy public trial under the Speedy Trial Act. 143 footnotes.