Closed Hearings Unconstitutional

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photoSince 9/11, the Justice Department has closed hundreds of deportation hearings for individuals targeted in the terrorism investigation. Yesterday, the United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that secrecy in these trials is unconstitutional.

"The Executive Branch seeks to uproot people's lives outside the public eye and behind a closed door," said Judge Damon J. Keith. The Justice Department has not said if it will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

In this hour, secrecy in the American courts. Where should the line be drawn between national security and First Amendment rights? Has the Bush administration gone to far? Should the courts be pulling in the reigns?


Charles Lane, Reporter with The Washington Post

Martin Garbus, Author of "Courting Disaster: The Supreme Court and the Unmasking of American Law"

This program aired on August 27, 2002.


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