I’ve been working through some of the oral argument audio from this term that I didn’t get to listen to over the past few weeks, and I came to an interesting exchange between Judge Ryan and the Government’s counsel in Center for Constitutional Rights, et al. v. United States and Colonel Lind, No. 12-8027/AR. One of the issues in that case is contemporaneous access to the briefs and pleadings, with the Government insisting that the petitioners utilize the FOIA process. Judge Ryan noted that CAAF provides access to the briefs in cases it grants, even though there is no requirement that it do so. She characterized this as a common-sense solution to something that might not be a full-fledged Constitutional problem. She also repeatedly asked the Government’s counsel why similar common-sense measures couldn’t be employed at the trial level, without requiring the full FOIA process.

The exchange made me realize that by making the briefs of the parties available on its website, CAAF enables a significant amount of analysis and commentary that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. (Or should it be “analysis” and commentary?). If this blog required waiting for a FOIA response, or working from documents obtained from unofficial sources, we would have much less content.

One Response to “What if this blog depended on FOIA? Argument Recap: Center for Constitutional Rights, et al. v. United States and Colonel Lind, No. 12-8027/AR”

  1. Phil Cave says:

    And less opportunity for potential amicus to identify an issue and seek participation.

    BTW I’ve always found it odd that the appellate government offices can at times be invited to provide amicus briefs on behalf of their same client the United States.  Seems to me that if the AF AG wants a Navy perspective they shop to the Navy for input in their brief rather than the United States get four bites at the apple.