The Detroit Free Press is suing the federal government over its refusal to release the mugshots of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and two other people.
The newspaper says the U.S. Justice Department is ignoring court rulings dating to the 1990s that treat photos of criminal defendants as public documents.
The Free Press wants photos of Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and a friend, Bobby Ferguson, when they were charged with corruption. They're now awaiting their sentence in Detroit federal court.
A decision in favor of the Free Press likely would compel the government to resume releasing mugshots of defendants in other criminal cases.
The government has said releasing photos would violate privacy, despite court decisions to the contrary. There was no immediate comment Monday from the Justice Department.