(for additional documents in this case, see the links at the end of this release)
The Supreme Court today decided not to hear a challenge to government secrecy in the case of M.K.B. v. Warden, the ultra-secret appeal of an Algerian-born man detained in Florida after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The court also rejected a media effort to intervene in the case to argue for greater access to the sealed proceedings, and, in what may be an unprecedented move, allowed the government’s brief in the case to remain completely under seal.
“We are very concerned that the Supreme Court has apparently allowed the government to file its brief in this case completely under seal,” said Lucy A. Dalglish, Reporters Committee Executive Director. “We believe that may be unprecedented.”
“Clearly, the public’s right to know what is happening in its courts has been severely damaged, and anyone haled before the courts in this country can no longer expect he or she won’t be thrown in prison secretly,” she added.
Additional information about the case and the attempted media intervention is available from the following links:
Last Friday’s Media Advisory (with more detail on the case): https://www.rcfp.org/news/releases/view.php?2004_02_20_mkbalert.txt
Motion to intervene in M.K.B. v. Warden (PDF), 1/2/2004: https://www.rcfp.org/news/documents/20040102-mkbvwarden.pdf
Amicus brief in M.K.B. v. Warden (PDF), 11/3/2003: https://www.rcfp.org/news/documents/20031103-mkbvwarden.pdf
Background from “Behind the Homefront,” published by RCFP (includes additional links): https://www.rcfp.org/behindthehomefront/search.php?srch=bellahouel