Law Journal to Supreme Court: Correct The Mischief Done By The First Circuit In Boston College Case

There is a brilliant article in the current issue of the Stanford Law Review, one of the most prestigious in America. Its past editors have included one Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William Rehnquist and one Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor and a host of federal district judges, appeal judges and legal luminaries. An article like this, prominently featured in the December 5th edition, is not something to be ignored.

As a legal journal you would expect it to be abstruse and it is, but the killer punch comes in the final paragraph, an easily understandable mighty swipe at the appeal court in Boston which upheld the PSNI/US Department of Justice effort to get their paws on the IRA oral history archive at Boston College. It reads: “… overlooking the considerable interests supporting the Belfast Project’s confidentiality guarantee, the First Circuit erred both as a matter of precedent and of policy. At least one Supreme Court Justice has signaled a willingness to correct the mischief done by the First Circuit, and to clarify an area of First Amendment law where the Court’s guidance is sorely needed. The rest of the Court should take note.”

The full text is below. Read, savor and enjoy.

Privilege and the Belfast Project1

Privilege and the Belfast Project2Privilege and the Belfast Project3Privilege and the Belfast Project4Privilege and the Belfast Project5Privilege and the Belfast Project6

3 responses to “Law Journal to Supreme Court: Correct The Mischief Done By The First Circuit In Boston College Case

  1. Ed, what better  word   than “mischief”…finally, it is about time…maybe the law will redeem itself..  Sabina


  2. Dear Ed, I am a member of the Derry Playhouse ICAN Board and have been closely following the court case re: The Boston Project. The following is a query from a friend of mine who is with the Center for Constitutional Rights: “Do you know whether those liable to be hurt by the release of the tapes have filed for an injunction to prevent it?” I would appreciate it if you would respond. Best wishes, Margie Bernard

    • thanks for your query margie. ICAN is a good outfit. no, they haven’t. but were they to do so they would have to identify themselves in public which would defat the object of the exercise, since the whole purpose of the legal action to stop the PSNI is to preserve and protect the confidentiality upon which the belfast archive was based. after all we are arguing that disclosure would endanger peoples’ lives and the courts should protect them. nor am i sure whether as non-US citizens they could claim protection under the constitution. incidentally we approached the center for constitutional rights looking for their support at the outset of this struggle but they were not interested.

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