The Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus brief (pdf) in the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on behalf of a group of former United States Magistrate Judges, supporting the unsealing of government surveillance orders and applications.
The brief supports Jason Leopold, a BuzzFeed News journalist, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (“RCFP”).
The appeal arises out of a petition that Leopold filed in the D.C. District Court to unseal applications and orders for pen registers, trap and trace devices, tracking devices, stored email, and other types of surveillance, many of which remain sealed indefinitely in practice. He argued that, once the seal is no longer necessary, public access to these judicial records is required under the First Amendment and common law right of access to court records. Leopold was later joined by RCFP.