MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge has denied a media request to open up a private meeting about the future of Minnesota's civil commitment program for sex offenders.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank ruled Friday that the request by the coalition of news organizations is "without merit."

Frank had earlier ruled that the Minnesota Sex Offender Program is unconstitutional because it locks people up indefinitely. He invited Gov. Mark Dayton, lawmakers and others to meet Monday to discuss alternatives.

The Associated Press is among several media outlets sought access to that meeting, arguing that it's not routine because of the participants and stakes involved.

Frank says the closed conference will allow for candid discussions. He says he hasn't barred participants from talking about it afterward.

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