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Obama administration pushes to keep Bush clemencies private

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  1. Freedom of Information
The Obama administration filed a brief with a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., Friday opposing a Washington Post reporter's…

The Obama administration filed a brief with a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., Friday opposing a Washington Post reporter’s quest to obtain the names of individuals who were denied clemency and pardon during the Bush administration, Politico reported.

The Justice Department argues that the privacy rights of those who applied for and were denied pardons outweighs the public interest of knowing the names and that releasing the denials could put applicants in danger.

Last July a District Court agreed with Washington Post reporter George Lardner that the records should be released, ruling that the Justice Department’s privacy argument was undermined by its policy of confirming applications and denials when asked about specific individuals.

The names of those granted clemency are routinely publicized and published on the Department of Justice website. It is unclear how the Obama administration would handle the clemency process, as the president has yet to exercise the power.