As we noted yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge William Q. Hayes ordered an evidentiary hearing to be held in Martin v. NCIS on 9 November.  Today a minute order was entered indicating the topics to be addressed at that hearing:  (1) “restrictions placed on the general publics access to judicial proceedings in the courtroom”; (2) “restrictions placed on Plaintiffs access to judicial proceedings in the courtroom”; and (3) “the reasons for restrictions on Plaintiffs access to judicial proceedings.”

By focusing on access to judicial proceedings, Judge Hayes’ order suggests that this case will lead to an important First Amendment decision concerning the public’s access to courts-martial — an issue that arose earlier this year during a court-martial at Fort Bragg.

Also, here’s a link to the 2008 Reporters Committee for  Freedom of the Press report on access to courts-martial.  Page 7 of the report discusses military appellate decisions applying a public right to attend court-martial proceedings.

Here’s the complete minute order:

MINUTE ORDER: The evidentiary hearing set for November 9, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. shall include evidence regarding restrictions placed on the general publics access to judicial proceedings in the courtroom, restrictions placed on Plaintiffs access to judicial proceedings in the courtroom, and the reasons for restrictions on Plaintiffs access to judicial proceedings in the courtroom. Judge William Q. Hayes on 11/1/2010.(sxd) (Entered: 11/02/2010)

Judge Hayes was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush.  He was sworn in in 2003.  At the time of his appointment, he was Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

2 Responses to “Judge in Martin v. NCIS indicates subject of 9 November evidentiary hearing”

  1. Anon says:

    The “Put up or shut up” hearing!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, that works both ways……