Alliance Joins Brief Advocating for Access and Accountability

On September 19, the News/Media Alliance joined the Reporters Committee amicus brief advocating for open records and public access. In Doe v. Volokh, a police officer is suing a town for defamation after being placed on a list of officers who were said to engage in “misconduct reflecting negatively on their credibility or trustworthiness.” The officer sued using a pseudonym saying that the list constituted defamation and violated his due process rights. The Reporters Committee amicus argues that the officer failed to establish “any exceptional privacy interests warranting pseudonymity.” The brief further explains that allowing the officer to continue under a pseudonym will likely lead to other denials of access: “If Doe is permitted to proceed pseudonymously, he may ask the district court to seal documents and/or close the courtroom to protect his anonymity, causing journalists and the public to lose access to additional, valuable information.” The Alliance continues to support unencumbered access to courts and public records.

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