A U.S. district judge in Milwaukee agreed yesterday to hear arguments on a motion to lift the preliminary injunction he granted two months ago blocking publication by Progressive magazine of an article on the hydrogen bomb.
The American Civil Liberties Union, counsel for Progressive editors Erwin Knoll and Samuel H. Day Jr., reported the agreement after a conference call with Judge Robert W. Warren in which government attorneys participated.
The ACLU said that Warren will hold a hearing June 12 - probably in chambers - on its motion to lift the injunction and to hear new evidence, including recent disclosures that the Department of Energy made available formerly secret, erroneously declassified H-bomb materials on its open library shelves for nearly four years.
Warren issued the injunction on the basis of government assertions that the Progressive article contained confidential material that could shorten the time needed by a foreign power to build H-bombs and thus enhance nuclear proliferation.
The ACLU contends not only that all of the information in the article was derived by writer Howard Morland from public sources, but also that the inadvertently declassified papers would be highly useful to a putative H-bomb builder while the article would not.