Description: Action to compel disclosure of documents related to United States' international climate negotiations.
Competitive Enterprise Institute v. United States Department of State
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 12/01/2016 Memorandum Opinion Download Memorandum opinion issued on redactions in disclosed documents. Federal Court Said Most Redactions in FOIA Disclosure of U.S. Climate Negotiators’ Communications Were Appropriate. The federal district court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled on whether portions of four documents exchanged between senior-level White House and Department of State staff responsible for setting climate policy and negotiating at the Paris conference had been properly redacted pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act’s deliberative process privilege. The court found that all of the communications were predecisional because they were part of the U.S.’s preparation for the Paris conference negotiations. The court found that the Department of State justified nondisclosure by showing how the withheld information, which included information about the weight attributed to different scientific studies and personal opinions about the credibility of the studies, “related to formulation of actual agency policy.” The court further found that most of the redacted portions of the documents were deliberative and therefore not required to be disclosed, but said that several “merely factual statements” had been improperly redacted.