B. The common-law presumption of access

Overview

In addition to the constitutional right – and even where it does not apply – “the courts of this country recognize a general right to inspect and copy public records and documents, including judicial records and documents.”Nixon v. Warner Communications, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978) (footnote omitted). Indeed, the Third Circuit found that in both civil and criminal cases “the existence of a common law right of access to … inspect judicial records is beyond dispute.” Publicker Indus., Inc. v. Cohen, 733 F.2d 1059, 1066 (3rd Cir. 1984). Courts declining to extend a constitutional presumption of access to particular proceedings often likewise conclude that the proceedings are open “by force of tradition.” In re Krynicki, 983 F.2d 74, 75 (7th Cir. 1992).

6th Cir.