Feds: Allow Judges To Release Historic 30-Year-Old Grand Jury Material


The U.S. Justice Department is proposing a change in legal rules that would give judges greater flexibility to release grand jury material of historical significance in cases more than 30 years old, reports the Blog of Legal Times. The request by Attorney General Eric Holder to a committee of the federal judiciary's policy-making body, comes after the government declined to challenge a judge's order directing the government to release Richard Nixon's grand jury testimony.

“After a suitably long period, in case of enduring historical importance, the need for continued secrecy is eventually outweighed by the public's legitimate interest in preserving and accessing the documentary legacy of our government,” Holder said. He said an amendment to the rule “would accommodate society's legitimate interest in securing eventual public access to grand-jury materials of significant public importance, while at the same time defining the contours of that access.”

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