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Court seals transcript of Guantanamo hearing open to public

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  1. Court Access
The Department of Justice has asked the D.C. federal appeals court to redact a transcript of an oral argument in…

The Department of Justice has asked the D.C. federal appeals court to redact a transcript of an oral argument in a Guantanamo Bay case that occurred in a public courtroom, the Blog of LegalTimes reports.

The case, Kiyemba v. Obama, was sent back to the appellate court after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a decision that federal judges cannot order the release of a Guantanamo Bay detainees into the United States. Oral arguments in the case occurred on April 22, but the appellate court only permitted the public to attend the first half of the arguments.

After the arguments, the appellate court granted the Justice Department’s request that the transcript be completely sealed, despite part of the argument occurring in an open courtroom. Since then, the government has asked the court to seal only certain portions of the transcript of the public arguments. A hearing on the issue was originally scheduled for today, but was removed from the court’s calendar. It is unclear if the hearing will be rescheduled.

Nothing in the public record indicates the reasoning behind preventing the public from accessing information that was discussed in an open courtroom. The appellate court did not publish an explanation for its original decision to seal the entire transcript.