A federal appeals court in Chicago has thrown defense lawyers, journalists and members of the general public out of a hearing regarding secret intelligence-court documents, then went into secret session.
The order to clear the courtroom Wednesday came after oral arguments in open court.
The issue at hand was a trial court's ruling granting lawyers for terrorist suspect Adel Daoud unprecedented access to secret intelligence-court records. Prosecutors want that ruling reversed.
After 30 minutes, Judge Richard Posner told the hearing the panel was now "going to have a secret hearing."
While all defense attorneys had to leave, federal prosecutors were allowed to stay.
Daoud attorney Thomas Durkin told reporters later he didn't know defense lawyers would be forced to leave. He called it "a sad day" for the justice system.