Sealing federal records

Reporter Michael Doyle did a nice summary of a year-long study by Tim Reagan and George Cort for the Federal Judicial Center on the practice of sealing federal cases.

Sealing federal records apparently is justified for almost any reason under the sun. Doyle notes the report findings: "There was one (criminal) case sealed because the defendant had a high profile. According to the judge, 'it seemed a good idea at the time.' Another reason for sealing: "A person of influence failed to respect the authority of an officer on federal land." Four civil cases were sealed to protect the reputation of doctors.