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Secrecy of Consumer Safety Report before the 4th Circuit today
Posted By Sharon McCloskey On October 31, 2013 @ 9:56 am In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled
This morning the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond will hear argument in the appeal of a decision  by U.S District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. in Maryland, allowing a company to secretly and anonymously stop the Consumer Product Safety Commission from publishing a negative report about one of its products on the CPSC’s publicly available website.
This is the first challenge to the congressionally-mandated CPSC database. . . . If companies can challenge reports in the database in secret, Congress’s goal of informing the public will be undermined by years’ worth of secret litigation during which the public will be oblivious to potential hazards.[The] case [also] tests the judiciary’s commitment to the First Amendment right of access to court proceedings, which enables public oversight of the working of government and facilitates public participation. If — as the district court novelly held — a corporate reputational interest justifies secret litigation or the use of a pseudonym, one can a imagine a lot of companies stepping forward to seek secrecy. Companies sued for fraud, pollution, discrimination, and (of course) making dangerous products could all claim they ought to be allowed to litigate in secret under this view.
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URL to article: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2013/10/31/secrecy-of-consumer-safety-report-before-the-4th-circuit-today/
URLs in this post:
 decision: http://www.citizen.org/documents/Company-Doe-v-Tenenbaum-Revised-Memorandum-Opinion-Redacted.pdf
 the case: http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2013/05/16/fourth-circuit-considers-limits-to-sealed-cases/
 blog post: http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/2013/10/company-doe-case-before-fourth-circuit-tomorrow-crucial-consumer-and-first-amendment-implications.html
 The Fourth Circuit hands down a win for public access to court records : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/04/16/the-fourth-circuit-hands-down-a-win-for-public-access-to-court-records/
 Fourth Circuit rules “Choose Life” license plate law is unconstitutional : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/02/11/fourth-circuit-rules-choose-life-license-plate-law-is-unconstitutional/
 Hobby Lobby at the Supreme Court: What you need to know : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/03/21/hobby-lobby-at-the-supreme-court-what-you-need-to-know/
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