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Pitch v. United States

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  1. Court Access

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed an amicus brief on behalf of a media coalition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s en banc rehearing of Pitch v. United States. The issue in the case is whether district courts can exercise their inherent authority to order disclosure of grand jury materials in extraordinary circumstances expressly enumerated in Rule 6(e), such as when the historical significance of those materials outweighs the interest in continued grand jury secrecy. The rehearing follows a panel opinion affirming the district court’s unsealing of records from a federal grand jury convened to investigate the Moore’s Ford Lynching, a mass lynching that took place in rural Georgia in 1946. The Reporters Committee’s brief relied heavily on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s opinion in Carlson v. United States, a decision won by Reporters Committee attorneys.