Supreme Court Refuses to Hear an Appeal on the Hundreds of Secret Deportation Hearings for Immigrants Detained After September 11th

May 28, 2003


The decision is a victory for the Bush administration over freedom of the press. It was New Jersey newspapers that challenged the secret hearings.

The Supreme Court handed a victory to the Bush Administration yesterday when it refused to hear a challenge to closed, secret deportation hearings held for hundreds of immigrants detained after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Following the attacks, the government ordered all immigration hearings closed if the detainees were deemed so-called 'special interest' cases because of possible links to terrorism. Only the government can decide if a case is a "special interest" case.

The appeal was brought by a group of New Jersey newspapers seeking information about the detainees.

We asked the Justice Department for a comment, but the media office declined to join us today.

  • Nancy Chang, senior litigation attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights and author of Silencing Political Dissent. She represented the North Jersey Media Group, which brought the case.
  • Lee Gelernt, lead council for North Jersey Media Group


Center for Constiutional Rights

American Civil Liberties Union