Summary: S.3191 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 115-426 (01/08/2019)

Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act of 2018

This bill requires the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to: (1) establish a collection of civil rights cold case records; (2) prepare and publish the subject guidebook and index to the collection; and (3) establish criteria for transmitting copies of civil rights cold case records to NARA, to include required metadata.

All civil rights cold case records transmitted to NARA for disclosure to the public shall be included in the collection, available to the public for inspection and copying, and prioritized for digitization by NARA.

The bill requires redacted records or records for which public disclosure is postponed to be reviewed annually.

The bill enumerates grounds for which disclosure of records may be postponed, including causing damage to national security, invading personal privacy, or interfering with ongoing law enforcement proceedings.

The bill establishes the Civil Rights Cold Case Records Review Board as an independent agency of impartial private citizens. The board shall consider and render decisions on determinations to seek postponement of disclosure of civil rights cold case records. With the exception of certain administrative records, records of the review board shall not be destroyed.

The review board may request the Department of Justice to petition any court in the United States or abroad to release information relevant to civil rights cold cases held under seal of court. A similar request may be made to a court in the United States for release of information held under an injunction of grand-jury secrecy.