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Ginsburg refuses to block release of sex abuse files

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  1. Court Access
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Tuesday refused a Catholic diocese’s emergency request to stay an order unsealing court…

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Tuesday refused a Catholic diocese’s emergency request to stay an order unsealing court records related to more than 20 clergy sex abuse suits.

The case, Rosado v. Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp., concerns thousands of documents related to now-settled lawsuits involving six priests. The Connecticut Supreme Court in June upheld a decision largely granting a request from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the Hartford Courant and The Washington Post to release the documents, ruling that as court documents they were presumed to be open to the public. It rejected, among others, the claim that the records were shielded by the First Amendment’s protection for the free exercise of religion.

The diocese on August 6 asked Ginsburg, the justice who oversees emergency requests from the region, to stay the state court’s order until it could petition the U.S. Supreme Court for review. After requesting briefing on the issue, Ginsburg denied to motion Tuesday. The Associated Press reports that the diocese “intends to proceed with its announced determination to ask the full U.S. Supreme Court to review the important constitutional issues that this case presents.”