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Court seems wary in oral arguments over White House e-mail

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  1. Freedom of Information
Oral arguments Friday in a watchdog's lawsuit over missing White House e-mail messages did not seem to bode well for transparency in the…

Oral arguments Friday in a watchdog’s lawsuit over missing White House e-mail messages did not seem to bode well for transparency in the matter, The Associated Press reported. 

A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reportedly seemed "cool to the idea" of forcing the Bush administration to release records that could explain how the e-mail went missing. At issue is whether the White House Office of Administration is subject to the Freedom of Information Act; the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington argues in its lawsuit that FOIA does apply, but a lower court in June found otherwise.

That ruling is now under appeal. 

According to The AP, at least one judge Friday voiced concern over CREW’s argument that the Office of Administration is not subject to a FOIA exemption, and whether that would put the courts on a "slippery slope" toward invading presidential authority.

A separate CREW lawsuit over the missing White House e-mail is still at the trial court level.