Civil Action No. 13-0414 (ESH) December 17, 2013
The Obama White House has a “limitless” view of its authority to withhold presidential communications from the public, she [DC District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle] wrote, but that view is wrong.
“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’,” Judge Huvelle wrote in her December 17 opinion..."
"...She criticized the government for “the unbounded nature” of its claim. “In the government’s view, it can shield from disclosure under FOIA any presidential communication, even those — like the PPD-6 — that carry the force of law, simply because the communication originated with the President…. The Court rejects the government’s limitless approach….”
"...This latest case of “unbounded” secrecy cannot be blamed on the CIA or an overzealous Justice Department attorney. It is entirely an Obama White House production, based on a White House policy choice.
Second, and relatedly, it has proved to be an error to expect the executive branch to unilaterally impose transparency on itself. To do so is to ignore, or to wish away, the Administration’s own conflicting interests in secrecy and disclosure. Instead, it is the role of the other branches of government to check the executive and to compel appropriate disclosure...."
mm politics, lee y, obama, government, flimflam, governance by, secret law, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, unbounded secrecy, DC Court, check the executive, Civil Action No. 13-0414, FOIA, Center for Effective Government, presidential directive