Secret court proceedings will see the light of day, according to an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on TC Daily Planet reporter Sheila Regan’s motion to open the records of contempt proceedings against Carrie Feldman. The appeals court allowed further government delay in opening the records, drawing a sharp dissent from Judge Bye, one of the three-judge panel hearing the case:
I disagree with the court’s directions allowing the government another twenty-one days to submit proposed redactions of the briefs, motions, and other court materials in this appeal which may contain secret grand jury information. Despite having ample time to respond to the motion to unseal, the government has failed to identify any such material. At the most, another seven days would be sufficient in which to allow the government to submit proposed redactions. As the third party movant asserts, the public’s rightful access to the majority of the records in this appeal has already been delayed by two months.
The case involves the continuing imprisonment of Carrie Feldman, a Minnesota resident, for her refusal to testify to a grand jury.
Since November, animal rights activist Carrie Feldman has been held in an Iowa jail for contempt of court for refusing to testify in a grand jury. Feldman was subpoenaed twice to the grand jury, and each time she refused to speak, opting to invoke the Fifth Amendment. The court granted her immunity, and jailed her when she continued to refuse.
Sheila Regan’s story
Sheila Regan’s story of why she filed the motion and why she is reporting on this case will be in the Daily Planet next week – watch for it!
For previous coverage of this case, see: