Judge shuts down FOIA suit that set precedent on private emails

Politico speaks with Sam Kazman on a judges decision in CEI’s case against the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s director. 

A pro-business group’s lawsuit set an important precedent last year that messages on a federal employee’s private email account can be subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act.

However, the suit came up short Monday on its original goal of persuading a federal judge to order an actual search of the private email account in question.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute filed suit in 2014 to obtain work-related emails that Office of Science and Technology Policy director John Holdren maintained on an account belonging to his former employer, the Woods Hole Research Center.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Sam Kazman said the group is disappointed by the decision and considering its options.

“We’re disappointed with the ruling, especially with it being government in the sunshine week,” Kazman said. We’re still studying it but I think it’s likely we’ll be moving to modify the judgment or filing a notice of appeal or both.”

Asked if he was pleased with the precedent the case set, Kazman said: “That general principle, I think, is extremely important, but I still think this is a specific situation that does need to be remedied in Mr. Holdren’s case.”

Read the full article at Politico