The Freedom of Information Act has been the subject of several recent developments, each of which raise interesting questions. On April 2, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. FEC that an agency FOIA determination must include disclosure of the relevant time period and scope of the documents it will produce as well as exemptions claimed for any withheld documents. Will agencies now refuse to disclose the scope of documents and exemptions unless and until a FOIA requester brings a lawsuit? If so, does the decision really enhance transparency? In McBurney et al v. Young, the Supreme Court held that the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) grants only citizens of Virginia the right to access the state of Virginia’s public records. Does McBurney harm transparency? On April 15, 2009, Gregory Craig, Counsel to the President, sent a memorandum to all executive department and agency general counsels, concerning the need to consult the White House regarding FOIA, GAO, congressional and judicial subpoena requests concerning “white house equities”. To what extent does this memo conflict with the current Administration’s policy on FOIA?
- Mr. Daniel Epstein, Executive Director, Cause of Action
- Mr. Kip Steinberg, Principal, Law Office of Kip Evan Steinberg
- Ms. Anne L. Weismann, Chief Counsel, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
- Moderator: Ms. Margaret Stock, Counsel to the Firm, Cascadia Cross-Border Law Group
- Introduction: Mr. Dean A. Reuter, Vice President & Director of Practice Groups, The Federalist Society