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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Justice-Nominee Sotomayor's Record on Open Gov't

From SCOTUSblog:

In two cases involving requests under the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA), Sotomayor wrote an opinion that declined to order the release of the
requested information, explaining that she did not want to “unreasonably hamper
agencies in their decision-making.” Thus, in Tigue v. DOJ, 312 F.3d 70 (2d
Cir. 2002), the panel denied a tax attorney’s request for a memorandum written
by a Deputy U.S. Attorney outlining the office’s opinions and policies regarding
tax investigations, notwithstanding that the memorandum had been cited in a
publicly released report. And in Wood v. FBI, 432 F.3d 78 (2d Cir.
2005), while acknowledging that FOIA exemptions should be construed “narrowly,
resolving all doubts in favor of disclosure,” her opinion denied a reporter’s
request for an FBI memorandum regarding local FBI agents accused of lying.
She reasoned that the “unwarranted invasion of privacy” for the individuals
whose names would be released outweighed the public interest in disclosing a
government employee’s identity.