Belfast Project Case May Go To Supreme Court
Arguments For BC's Appeal Begin Sept. 6
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Despite their arguments, on Aug. 31 Moloney and McIntyre were denied the right to a rehearing by the First Circuit Court of Appeal, as was the ACLU’s motion.
That same day, Moloney and McIntyre announced their intention for the case to be heard in front of the United States Supreme Court.
“In this case the plaintiffs, Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre have been prevented by the First Circuit decision from arguing that the PSNI action is politically motivated and that the material requested by the PSNI was available in Northern Ireland,” the two wrote in a statement dated Aug. 31. “Their lawyers argue that Moloney and McIntyre have been denied their constitutional and statutory rights and protections and suffer violations of constitutional rights if the subpoenas are enforced by the Attorney-General.”
In addition to their appeals of the case in the U.S., Moloney and McIntyre opened a second front in July by filing a review for an injunction of the subpoenas in the Belfast courts.
“The Judicial Review asks that the British Home Office’s request of assistance from the United States be quashed, the subpoenas be declared unlawful, a discontinuation of the PSNI’s application for the material, and for an injunction stopping any material from Boston College being received by the PSNI,” the two wrote in a statement dated July 5.
However, the case did not gain traction and an injunction on the materials was not filed.
While the case of the first set of subpoenas unfolded, BC was involved in a separate case involving a second set of subpoenas.
In August 2011, a separate set of subpoenas had been filed, calling for the release of any material in the Belfast Project archives relating to the disappearance of Jean McConville. Again BC filed a motion to quash the subpoenas, arguing that the subpoena was too broad and threatened oral history as a whole. However, on Dec. 27, 2011, BC was ordered to hand over the tapes by Judge William Young.
Young reviewed the tapes and selected those that he believed fit the description of the subpoena as relating to McConville’s death. Young eventually held that parts of seven different interviews held by BC were relevant to the investigation and should be handed over to the British authorities, a decision which BC appealed, again arguing that the tapes had limited value and the subpoenas were too broad.
Oral arguments for BC’s appeal will begin today, Sept. 6, at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston.
“We will argue that the [seven] tapes have limited probative value, and, for the sake of academic research, they should not be turned over to British authorities,” Dunn said. “Our hope is that we will prevail in our case and the only tape which will be subject to transfer to British authorities will be the Dolours Price tape, which was already made public in her interviews with Irish media.”