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American Small Business League v. United States Department of Defense

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  1. Freedom of Information

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed an amicus brief in American Small Business League v. Department of Defense & Department of Justice, a case before the Northern District of California. The case presents the first time a district court may rule on an agency’s burden to satisfy Exemption 4 and foreseeable harm since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media. The brief argues that the legislative history of the foreseeable harm standard makes clear that Congress intended to create a new, distinct requirement that agencies must satisfy when making FOIA withholdings.  It also argues that the standard requires, in the Exemption 4 context, for agencies to show that disclosure would lead to competitive harm to a third party, similar to the D.C. Circuit’s test in National Parks Conservation Association v. Morton.

2019-08-30 RCFP Amicus ASBL v. DOD DOJ