Access / FOIA
While this decision was an indelible win for government transparency, The Intercept’s ongoing, costly fight to access the records at issue should serve as a cautionary tale to news organizations considering bringing similar cases.
The Court issued two major unanimous decisions ordering the disclosure of records involving law enforcement misconduct and access to settlement agreements that resolve discipline which reshape the landscape for the state’s Open Public Records Act and common law access.
The Fight for the Public’s Right to Access Videos of the Landmark Prop 8 Trial Again Moves to the U.S. Supreme CourtSara A. Fairchild, Thomas R. Burke, and Rochelle L. Wilcox
More than a decade after the landmark trial that found California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional, the proposition’s proponents have now asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a recent Ninth Circuit decision that would finally allow the public to access video recordings of the trial.
Court Orders Disclosure of Redacted Briefs in Constitutional Challenge to Substance Use Treatment LawJack Greiner and Darren Ford
The Kentucky Supreme Court recently held that a news organization was entitled to redacted copies of briefs filed in appeals raising constitutional challenges to a Kentucky substance use disorder treatment law.
A recent spate of high-profile cases, across the country, demonstrate that many judges, in both state and federal courts, are of the view that there is no presumption of public access to the names of seated jurors, not only at the outset of a trial, but even post-verdict.
Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting (“CIR”) succeeded once again in challenging the government’s withholding of firearms data. But in its amended opinion, the Ninth Circuit cabined its prior holdings somewhat, including as to how to apply the OPEN FOIA Act.
Affirming its well-established precedent on access to judicial records, the Eleventh Circuit recently upheld a district court’s order unsealing internal communications obtained during discovery and filed in connection with a motion for a preliminary injunction.
At issue in the appeal were the names, investigated facts, and explanation of Mueller’s declination decisions for two groups of people: those investigated for campaign finance and computer intrusion offenses, and those investigated for making false statements to the government in the course of the investigation.
The high court held that a state statute prohibiting the sealing of certain warrant information meant what it said, finding that the question “is not a close one.” But the path to the ruling was far from typical.
With this ruling, it appears that the media will only be able to access law enforcement records if law enforcement makes a voluntary disclosure, the records are introduced as exhibits at trial, or, possibly, if the case is already closed. The sweeping ruling stands as a high-water mark for government secrecy of law enforcement records…