• sparrow v. swallow
Reporters from the Oregonian, AP, New York Times and lil old Mercury issued a collective groan this week when Judge John Wittmayer handed down his decision about whether the Boy Scout of America's 20,000 page "Perversion Files" used in a recent landmark sex abuse case should be made public. Judge Wittmayer ruled that, yes, the files should be public. But he placed a "stay" on the files' release, pending a Boy Scouts appeal of his decision. The files will stay sealed until he lifts his stay, which could be tomorrow. Or next month. Or three years from now.

"We won, but the order doesn't go into effect yet," explains Kristian Roggendorf, one of the attorneys working on the five local sex abuse cases facing the Scouts. "We have no idea when the stay will be lifted." There are two options here: the Boy Scouts could seek review in the state Supreme Court challenging the judge's order to make the files public, or media to appeal to the Supreme Court and say this stay is unjust.

GAAHHHHH! As I wrote about while Judge Wittmayer was mulling over whether to release the files, there's a great public benefit served by knowing the extent of abuse within the Boy Scouts. Since it has apparently been well-documented in these Perversion Files and the files were used in a court in a state whose laws promise open access to courts, the state has the obligation to release the files so we can all see, for our safety and the safety of Oregon's kids, what has been going on in the Scouts and whether they have engaged in a massive cover up of child sex abuse.