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October 18, 2016

Fighting for the Public’s Right to Know and Judicial Transparency, Better Markets Files Brief to Open the Record in MetLife Case

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Contact: Nick Jacobs, 202-618-6430,

Washington, D.C. – Steve Hall, Legal Director for Better Markets, issued the following statement on Better Markets’ filing of its opening brief as an appellant, seeking to vindicate the public’s right to access judicial documents in the matter of MetLife, Inc. v. Financial Stability Oversight Council:

“The stakes in the case couldn’t be much higher.  Under attack is the FSOC’s ability to protect our financial system from a repeat of the devastating 2008 financial crisis.  The court below invalidated FSOC’s decision that MetLife should be subject to additional regulatory supervision because of the potential risks it posed to our financial system.  Yet over two-thirds of the record on which the district court relied remains under seal, cut off from the public’s view.  And the parties have never been required to justify their confidentiality claims or demonstrate that their privacy interests outweigh the public’s right to know.  That is simply unacceptable, and Better Markets is fighting to put the parties’ desire for secrecy to the test. 

In the court below, Better Markets invoked the fundamental right of every citizen to have access to judicial records.  It sought to intervene and asked the district court to engage in a vetting and balancing process for each record under seal.  Although the court granted the intervention motion, it denied Better Markets’ request for a meaningful review of the sealed documents.  In its brief on appeal, Better Markets challenges a number of the court’s rulings as legally erroneous, all with the goal of ensuring that the record is as transparent as possible, subject only to the most compelling showing of a need for confidentiality.”  

[Better Markets’ brief can be found here.]


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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