Copyright (c) 2004 Arkansas Law Review and Bar Association Journal, Inc.
Arkansas Law Review
CASE NOTE: Detroit Free Press v. Ashcroft & North Jersey Media Group v. Ashcroft: Enduring Freedom: Can Post-September Eleventh Closure of "Special Interest" Deportation Hearings Withstand First Amendment Scrutiny?
57 Ark. L. Rev. 171
Rebekah J. Kennedy
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) launched a sweeping series of investigations into those attacks and other terrorist "threats, conspiracies, and attempts." 1 Since that time, it has been the policy of the DOJ to use immigration proceedings as a tool in these investigations. 2
Pursuant to that policy, on September 21, 2001, Chief Immigration Judge Michael Creppy, acting under the direction of Attorney General John Ashcroft, issued a memo to all United States Immigration Judges and Immigration Court Administrators, which has come to be known as the "Creppy Directive." 3 Journalists and other plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of that directive on First Amendment grounds in Detroit Free Press v. Ashcroft 4 and North Jersey Media Group v. Ashcroft. 5 In Detroit Free Press, the Sixth Circuit upheld a federal district court's preliminary injunction against implementation of the Creppy Directive. 6 By contrast in North Jersey Media Group, the Third Circuit reversed a federal district court which had granted a similar injunction in a different case. 7 This case note examines the constitutionality of the Creppy Directive in light of the conclusions and reasoning of the Third and Sixth Circuits in these two cases.
One fundamental policy question unites these two cases. It is the question of how much restraint upon public access to information about the workings of the Government is necessary and tolerable in a democratic society threatened by terrorism. In other ...
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