United States v. Vinas, No. 08-CR-823 (NGG) (E.D.N.Y.) June 6, 2017
A Newsday reporter sought to unseal a classified letter to a federal court concerning sentencing in a high-profile criminal case.. A protective order had been entered in the case to shield classified materials from disclosure.
No party objected to the release of the unclassified portions of the sealed letter. However, the court ruled that no further disclosures would be made. Protection of national security interest is among the highest values which justify sealing records, notwithstanding the strength of the qualified first amendment right of access. The court had undertaken in camera review of the materials and found that retention under seal was consistent with the government’s interest in national security.