Author Topic: Court Rejects Obama Admin Executive Privilege Arguments  (Read 238 times)

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Offline Cincinnatus

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Court Rejects Obama Admin Executive Privilege Arguments
« on: December 20, 2013, 03:17:32 PM »
A federal judge Tuesday rejected the Obama administration’s sweeping claims of executive privilege and ordered the disclosure of a foreign aid directive signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 but never publicly released.

U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle ruled the presidential order is not within the bounds of executive privilege and called the government’s arguments in favor of secrecy “troubling.”

“The government appears to adopt the cavalier attitude that the President should be permitted to convey orders throughout the Executive Branch without public oversight … to engage in what is in effect governance by ‘secret law,’” Huvelle said.

The Justice Department claimed the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development—a guidance memo issued to federal agencies in 2010—was covered by executive privilege and restricted to those who “need to know.”

However, Huvelle found that “the government has not, even after plaintiff raised the issue … defined what ‘need to know’ means.”

“Here there is no evidence that the [directive] was intended to be, or has been treated as, a confidential presidential communication,” Huvelle wrote.

Huvelle, a Clinton appointee, issued the ruling in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Center For Effective Government.

Julie Murray, an attorney with Public Citizen and counsel for the Center for Effective Government in the suit, said in an interview that the case “is going to have important implications for public access to federal policy.”

Perhaps this ruling will set a precedent for getting some of the information out of this administration it is trying so hard to hide.
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