Appeals Court Hears Argument Over Obama Administration’s Use of Private Emails

Oral argument will be heard today in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning White House science advisor John Holdren’s alleged use of a private email account for government work. His agency, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), refused to search for evidence of such emails—a failure, which plaintiff CEI alleges, violates FOIA. The case is the latest in a series of court battles over the White House skirting FOIA despite its claims to be the most transparent administration in history.

Hans Bader, CEI senior attorney, said, “FOIA is one of the few tools the public has to keep tabs on federal agency behavior. This case is a matter of consequence for current and future open access to government documents.”

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which filed an amicus brief supporting CEI, will also participate in today’s hearing. As media continue to face similar frustrations with FOIA, RCFP stated, “Given the increasing use of personal emails by government employees, access to such email when it concerns public business is crucial if the public is to be kept informed about what their government is up to.”

Read more about CEI v. OSTP here.