Available here.  Judge Stucky wrote for the majority, holding that CAAF doesn’t have jurisdiction to grant CCR’s writ appeal seeking access to documents and the creation of R.C.M. 802 conference synopses in the Manning trial.  Chief Judge Baker and Senior Judge Cox each dissented and each joined one anothers’ dissents.

14 Responses to “CAAF decides Center for Constitutional Rights v. United States”

  1. Bridget Wilson says:

    I would much rather litigate access before the 9th Circuit than CAAF. I have to agree with Judge Baker. Why would you want to put this in the hands of a myriad of civilian courts?

  2. Phil Cave says:

    And why, in the age of PACER are we even litigating this.  I can imagine that a federal court might wonder the same.  They have the exact same considerations it seems to me as the military in terms of what is or isn’t published in PACER.  
    My Liege, do you know where our 10 centa a page (free to the feds?) goes in terms of it being a money maker.
    And, with the renewed emphasis in avoiding PII in civilian court as well as military, seems like this is all doable with a little effort.

  3. Charlie Gittins says:

    Disappointing that the accused did not join the plaintiffs.  I spent hours on the phone with reporters and their counsel planning strategy in Powell, and you’d think that civilian counsel in a case witrh such far reaching potential consequences would have figured out the benefit to public access.  I have always believed that sunlight disinfects and if the Government want to keep it out of the public knowledge, that they have a reason that is probably not in the client’s or the system’s interest.  The burning heat of sunlight is the best disinfectant. 

  4. Ama Goste says:

    While I generally agree with your points, Charlie, I’d say this might be the exception, particularly given that too much sunlight in Manning led to a sunburn and these court-martial charges.

  5. Lieber says:

    CG:  There are things that the Accused doesn’t want in public either.
    Well, the Privacy Act doesn’t apply to Article III courts…so you’re talking about a fair amount of additional labor to redact before you can create something like Pacer.  And the way our court reporters are backed up…I’ve actually reviewed transcripts for errata over a year after trial.  The reality is that we don’t have the manpower or funding to comply with something like this right now.  And our IT is a decade out of date.  Congress would have to fund it to make it happen.

  6. Cloudesley Shovell says:

    A bit of thread drift, but I must comment on Lieber’s comment about “the way our court reporters are backed up . . .”
     
    Court reporters in regular old civilian courts, not to mention court reporters doing depositions and other transcribed hearings, deal with far far more transcription that those in the military.  The standard expected of court reporters in civilian courts is thus:  “Please email me the testimony of the witness so I can review it tonight in preparation for cross-examination tomorrow.”  One leaves the court, goes back to the office, and there awaiting is an email from the court reporter with that day’s proceedings already transcribed.  One never waits more than a day or two for transcripts of depositions.
     
    Waiting a year to review transcripts is an appalling statement on the utter and complete incompetence of the military justice system to maintain pace with reality.  The transcript of a court-martial should be ready for the judge and counsel to review the day after trial.  Period.
     
    Kind regards,
    CS

  7. Bridget Wilson says:

    Phil, one of my military sources tells me that the lack of PACER is likely a budget issue. The military court system would have to finance it. I agree that PACER or PACER like access would be good.

  8. stewie says:

    How would that work?
     
    1. Do civilian courts routinely start at 0830 and go to 1830 or 1930? I’m asking, I don’t know.
    2. What kind of equipment do civilian court reporters have vice military?
    3. What is the standard for “verbatim” in the civilian courts? Rough transcript, or literally verbatim?
    4. How do they fund these folks? It’s not easy for us in this day and age to say, he civilian court reporter, stay late and do this for tomorrow.
    Based on my experience, I don’t see how we’d begin to meet the standard of having a trial ready to go and verbatim the day after trial.  I can certainly see how we could go faster, but day after?

  9. Dew_Process says:

    @Stewie – civilian courts do not start anywhere near 0830 – 0930 if your lucky and rarely go after 1630 / 1700, unless to finish a witness or a summation.
    — The “real world” uses CAT = “computer assisted transcription” machines that have about a micro second’s worth of delay.  Some federal courts have real time for hearing impaired jurors as well.  But, you can get a “proofed” daily transcript of @ 6 to 7 hours usually within 45 to 60 minutes after each day of depositions or court.
     
    — Considering that the military is still literally in the Stone age regarding not recording, much less having a stenographer at Art. 32’s, it’s a disgrace to even suggest that it is a “judicial” proceeding.
     
    — A couple of years ago, I used a commercial steno for an Article 32 that went 2 full days.  I had a complete verbatim done and emailed to me at 0915 the next morning — she wasn’t that familiar with some of the military terminology and acronyms, so it took here a little longer than usual.

  10. Dew_Process says:

    I forgot to say, that the military court reporter didn’t have the “official” one done for @ 5 weeks.

  11. Lieber says:

    CS,
    When I practiced in regular federal courts (almost a decade ago)…they had much better equipment than we do now in the military. 
    DP,  Every 32 I’ve done was recorded.  And my paralegals had a summary transcript done shortly after.  Only seen court reporters used at high-profile 32s.

  12. k fischer says:

    DP, 
     
    Of course, it took 5 weeks.  The 32 transciripts were probably summarized and some court reporters I’ve spoken to would prefer verbatim over summarized.
     
    Speaking of 32 transcripts, here is a tale of two judges in two different trials.  In both trials, I attempted to impeach the witness with a prior inconsistent statement that I read to the witness from the summarized transcript I was holding in my hands during a trial by members.  Two trial counsel, respectively, objected both times because I was, in effect, introducing summarized transcripts into evidence by clearly reading from the transcripts in front of the panel.  
     
    In front of Judge #1 I argued that I wanted to make sure I didn’t incorrectly quote the essence of the e witnesses’ prior testimony.  The Government’s objection was sustained.
     
    In front of Judge #2, I didn’t get to make an argument because the Judge stated in front of the panel, “Well, you’re responsible for typing the transcripts, right?  Government, are you saying that the transcripts that you typed aren’t an accurate summary?”  The objection was overruled.

  13. stewie says:

    I think in an Age of Austerity (TM) any thought as to getting the newest equipment for court reporters to speed up ROT is…optimistic. 

  14. Tami says:

    I guess I’m not understanding what the media is so upset about.  Public access to attend open court-martial proceedings is one thing, but since when is there a “right” to obtain transcripts of court-martial proceedings prior to completion of the trial?  CAAF has a valid point that there might not be jurisdiction, in that the sentence could (very very unlikely) take it out of appellate court review.  Since when is there a “right” to transcripts when someone surreptitiously audio recorded Manning’s providence inquiry, in violation of court rules, and a transcript was released?  Are we to become like civilian courts, where high-profile cases become more like circuses?
    Personally, I think we should do away with summarized transcripts, and just do verbatim for every single court-martial.  Every court reporter I have ever talked to hates doing summarized, it’s harder than verbatim.