Authority To Disclose Grand Jury Records in Pentagon Papers Case at Issue
Participated in an amicus brief (with the Reporters Committee and other amici) filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in In re Petition for Order Directing Release of Records (Lepore v. United States). The case arises from a petition by Jill Lepore, historian and staff writer for The New Yorker, seeking records from two grand juries convened in Boston to investigate the Pentagon Papers leak in 1971. The district court ordered the records disclosed. The circuits have split on whether district courts have the inherent authority to order the disclosure of grand jury materials in extraordinary circumstances. The Second and Seventh circuits have recognized such inherent authority, while the D.C. and Eleventh circuits have not. This amicus brief is written in support of Professor Lepore and advocates the approach taken by the Second and Seventh circuits.