complaint filed this week seeks to compel the CIA to release records related to its interrogation practices, including “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on a prisoner held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  According to the complaint, the prisoner has been held at the Guantanamo Bay facility for fifteen years without being charged.  A Politico article cited

In a FOIA complaint filed Friday, the New York Times alleges that the FBI has wrongfully refused to comply with its request for “[a]ll memos, e-mails, or other documents by James Comey discussing or memorializing conversations with Donald Trump.”

A judge has not been assigned yet.

As we wrote about early last year, Judge McMahon reluctantly dismissed two FOIA suits seeking disclosure of a secret government memo addressing the legality of drone strikes on U.S. citizens.  Now, the Second Circuit has reversed that decision and ordered that the government produce the memo (known as the OLC-DOD Memorandum) in response to FOIA requests made by New York Times reporters and the ACLU. The Second Circuit ruled that public disclosure of the contents of the memo had waived any claim to secrecy.  Notably, just weeks after Judge McMahon’s decision, a 16-page DOJ “white paper” was leaked to the press, which itself analyzed the lawfulness of targeted drone killings.  Though not part of the underlying record on appeal, the appellate court chose to consider this subsequent disclosure in rendering its opinion.
Continue Reading Second Circuit Orders Release of Memo Discussing Legality of Drone Strikes

Judge Schiendlin issued an opinion Friday in a FOIA case that was critical of the practice of having government workers collect documents from their files, without strict oversight from counsel. The opinion will likely be cited in discovery disputes because, as Judge Scheindlin notes, “much of the logic behind the increasingly well-developed caselaw on e-discovery searches is instructive in the FOIA search context” (and thus, presumably, vice versa). The government’s brief had argued, “[i]t is . . . unclear why custodians could not be trusted to run effective searches of their own files, a skill that most office workers employ on a daily basis,” to which Judge Scheindlin responded:
Continue Reading Judge Scheindlin Criticizes Unsupervised “Self Collection” of Documents