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Letter to the Supreme Court of the United States regarding sealed cases

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  1. Court Access

The Reporters Committee, National Public Radio, and 51 other media organizations sent a letter to the Supreme Court of the United States documenting a marked increase in the number of sealed records at the Court and requesting the adoption of a new Court rule on sealing.  In the 1990s, the Court annually sealed records in only a handful of cases.  But that number has steadily increased, regularly topping twenty cases per term in recent years.  And in October Term 2018 alone, the Court ordered sealing in 46 cases, the most by a significant margin in at least the past thirty years.  Following up on a similar request from the Reporters Committee in 2011, the letter asks the Court to adopt a rule that would set a presumption of openness for court records while clarifying the standard for motions to seal.  Such a rule would both give guidance to practitioners and carry out the Court’s long-standing commitment to transparency.


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