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Center for Constitutional Rights v. U.S. (Pfc. Bradley Manning court-martial)

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  1. Court Access

The Center for Constitutional Rights and a number of other organizations moved to intervene in the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning for access to documents filed in connection with the proceeding. The trial court denied the request, a decision that was affirmed by the military’s intermediate appellate court. CCR appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the military’s highest appellate court. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, joined by 30 news media organizations, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of CCR’s position. The brief argued that the well-recognized right of public access to judicial proceedings mandates access to courts-martial documents. In cases like these, where profound issues are at stake, pervasive secrecy fuels a perception that the U.S. government keeps too many secrets, the brief argued. If the public is to have any faith in its government generally and the justice administered by military tribunals specifically, it needs to have confidence that the system is operating in the open, where potential misconduct may be exposed, it added.

Center for Constitutional Rights v. U.S.