First Amendment Right of Access Applies to Contempt Proceedings
Participated in an amicus brief (with the Reporters Committee and other amici) filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in two related cases, Washington Post v. U.S. Dept. of Justice and ACLU v. U.S. Dept. of Justice. The case concerns motions to unseal a contempt proceeding that the DOJ reportedly brought against Facebook to compel it to comply with a government wiretap of Facebook Messenger. Motions filed by the Washington Post and ACLU to unseal the contempt proceeding were denied by the district court. The brief argues that the appellants are seeking access to judicial records from a contempt proceeding, not wiretap materials, and that the First Amendment right of access applies to contempt proceedings and related records. The brief asks the appellate court to reverse the district court’s order.