MADISON, Wis. – A national and state coalition of journalism associations is asking a federal judge to unseal secret records in Wisconsin’s John Doe investigation into dozens of conservative organizations.

These First Amendment advocates, led by the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, on Thursday filed a motion in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee seeking to intervene in a civil rights lawsuit brought by conservative targets of the clandestine probe.

The coalition, including the American Society of News Editors, Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and Wisconsin Newspaper Association, is challenging U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Randa’s orders sealing documents associated with the John Doe.