D. National security and state secrets


Courts have closed proceedings in part or in whole in the interest of national security. In M.K.B. v. Warden, 540 U.S. 1213 (2004), for example, an Algerian-born Florida resident named Mohamed K. Bellahouel was secretly jailed by U.S. authorities for five months between late 2001 and early 2002. Bellahouel filed a habeas corpus petition challenging his captivity, but the courts kept the case entirely secret. Twenty-three media and public interest organizations asked to intervene in the case in order to challenge the sealing of Supreme Court records. But the Court denied Bellahouel’s petition for review, denied the news media’s motion to intervene, and even allowed the government to file a completely secret brief, all without comment.

6th Cir.