R David Murray added the comment:

Yes, there is a reason :)  Someone comes to the tracker with a bug, and does a 
good search...and with an open-only search doesn't find an issue, because we've 
already fixed it but it isn't in the version of python they are running.  But 
the default searches closed issues also, they will see hits with 'closed' and 
hopefully will find their bug has already been fixed.

The default search is a shortcut for the 'all text' field with issue status set 
to "don't care".

The results page tweaks are part of default-roundup and no one has ever played 
with them as far as I know.  So that could be a good thing for someone to 
experiment with.  Moving them to the top would be easy.

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