Deliberative process privilege

Senators introduce bipartisan FOIA amendment

Danielle Keeton-Olsen | Freedom of Information | News | June 25, 2014
June 25, 2014

Two senators crossed party lines in support of legislation that would strengthen the current Freedom of Information Act and diminish agencies’ excuses for withholding documents.

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) introduced the bill June 24 after the Senate Judiciary Committee held a meeting in March to discuss changes to the FOIA.

“The Freedom of Information Act is one of our nation’s most important laws, established to give Americans greater access to their government and to hold government accountable,” Leahy said in a press release.

Appeals court rules government must release drone memo

Emily Grannis | Freedom of Information | News | April 25, 2014
April 25, 2014

A federal appeals court has ruled that the Department of Justice must release a memo on the legal basis for using drone strikes to kill American citizens abroad.

The New York Times made Freedom of Information Act requests in 2010 for opinions or memos from the Office of Legal Counsel "that address the legal status of targeted killings" and those OLC memos analyzing when it would be legal for U.S. military or intelligence agencies to target a U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist.

N.Y. appeals court rules agency may withhold records after "inadvertent" prior release

Josh Hoberman | Freedom of Information | News | May 8, 2012
May 8, 2012

A New York mid-level appeals court partially upheld a lower court's decision to deny a records requester documents requested through the state Freedom of Information Law, despite the fact that the agency previously granted the requester access to parts of the documents.

N.Y. high court rules certain records about Hudson River contamination can be public

Haley Behre | Freedom of Information | Feature | March 23, 2012
March 23, 2012

The New York Court of Appeals ruled that communications between a federal and state agency about efforts to decontaminate part of the Hudson River did not qualify as intra- or inter-agency records and are not exempt under the state Freedom of Information Law.

N.Y. judge rules for partial release of ethics investigation records

You-Jin Han | Freedom of Information | Feature | March 22, 2012
March 22, 2012

A state trial court judge in Westchester County ruled this week that a Journal News reporter was entitled to certain records related to an ethics investigation of a former White Plains mayor. The ruling reaffirmed that the disclosure requirements of the state open records law preempt a confidentiality provision for ethics investigations records in a local ordinance.

California assembly ordered to release budget data

You-Jin Han | Freedom of Information | Feature | December 5, 2011
December 5, 2011

The Superior Court of California for the county of Sacramento entered an order Friday ruling that the California assembly – the lower house of the state legislature – must release budget-related records to news organizations under the state’s Legislative Open Records Act.

New York appeals court expands scope of records exemption

Mark Caramanica | Freedom of Information | Feature | August 17, 2010
August 17, 2010

A New York appellate court in Albany on Thursday ruled that the "deliberative process" exemption to the state's freedom of information law ("FOIL") applies to communications between federal and state officials. At issue in the case were records sought by a Saratoga County water district relating to a water supply option report developed by General Electric Co. as part of its efforts to remediate contaminated portions of the Hudson river.

EPA refusal is a chance for Congress to act

Loren Cochran | Freedom of Information | Reaction | January 22, 2008
January 22, 2008

The Environmental Protection Agency has provided Congress with the perfect opportunity to limit -- if not completely end -- the over-use of executive privilege, at least in FOIA cases.