FedSoc Blog

D.C. Rules Secret Service Must Produce White House Visitor Records


by Publius
Posted August 30, 2013, 11:57 AM

According to Bloomberg News:

U.S. Secret Service records of visitors to the White House, except those pertaining to people visiting the president’s office, must be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, a federal appeals court ruled.

Congress didn’t want to impinge on executive branch authority by requiring disclosure of people who meet with the president in his office, Circuit Judge Merrick Garland wrote for a three-judge panel in Washington.

“In order to avoid substantial separation of powers questions, we conclude that Congress did not intend to authorize FOIA requesters to obtain indirectly from the Secret Service information that it had expressly barred requesters from obtaining directly from the president,” Garland wrote.

Records of visitors to most of the White House complex are agency records subject to FOIA, the court ruled.

Judicial Watch, a Washington-based legal activist organization, sued the Secret Service for the names of people who visited the White House during the first seven months of President Barack Obama’s first term under FOIA.

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