As I noted earlier today, I submitted a FOIA request to Navy OJAG a week ago seeking the appellate briefs from United States v. Sayler. Today I heard from four different people from Navy OJAG, all of whom were extremely helpful and kind. It turns out that the link for submitting FOIA requests that was on the Navy OJAG web page (which was the link I used to submit my FOIA request) led to a black hole. That problem has now been flagged and, I’m told, is being fixed.
So that lends more support to Zack’s point that the public won’t be well-informed about military justice matters if FOIA is the vehicle through which information is released to the public. But, because our readership includes folks at Navy OJAG, I now have copies of the briefs that I had sought. Here’s a link to the appellant’s brief in Salyer, here’s a link to the government’s brief, and here’s a link to the appellant’s reply brief.
Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to have folks at Navy OJAG read his or her whiney blog posts. If the military justice system wants to be transparent — or at least as transparent as Article III courts — its appellate courts should join the PACER system.