FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: DOJ does not seek Supreme Court review of private email decision

FOIA News (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Obama administration won't fight court ruling on private email

By Josh Gerstein, Politico, Oct. 5, 2016

The Obama administration has passed up its last chance to overturn a groundbreaking federal appeals court ruling that messages in government officials' private email accounts can sometimes be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Justice Department's decision not to challenge the ruling leaves it in place as a binding precedent in dozens of pending lawsuits involving emails kept on Hillary Clinton's private email server and on private accounts maintained by her top aides.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision July 5, giving Justice until late August to seek rehearing before the appellate court's full bench and until earlier this week to seek review at the Supreme Court.  Neither step was taken, leaving the D.C. Circuit ruling as precedent available to any FOIA requester in the nation.

A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed that no petition was filed with the high court, but offered no comment on why the case wasn't pursued.

Read more here.