Free Speech

Sealed S.C. Real Estate Case Involving Mick Mulvaney (Acting White House Chief of Staff)

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Prof. Adam Levitin (Georgetown Law) has the story on his Credit Slips blog. There is some controversy about the underlying land deal, which the Washington Post covered last year; Prof. Levitin thinks Mulvaney's "move [was] allowed by the rules, but also totally in bad faith," but my UCLA colleague Prof. Lynn Lopucki disagrees, arguing that the underlying financial transaction—"strategic purchase and foreclosure of a mortgage"—is commonplace and generally not considered to be in bad faith. Prof. Levitin's post, though, focuses on the sealing of the court records in the lawsuit over the deal:

Incredibly, even the court's order is under seal. I've never seen an order deciding a foreclosure action that is under seal. It's frankly ridiculous. This is a dodgy land deal, not a state secret….

There is also an update to the post about some of the documents being available unsealed in the appellate file. I can't speak to the underlying transaction, but it does seem to me hard to justify the sealing.