Transparency

Executive Branch Has Wide Latitude To Keep Documents Classified, Says Appeals Court

They can keep secrets, but we can't

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An appellate court Friday ruled the government had the authority to keep a trade document confidential, giving the executive branch wide latitude to classify information. The ruling in a dispute over records related to trade negotiations came two days after a leak of a highly classified document set in motion a broad public debate about government secrecy.

Overturning a district court decision that took the rare step of ordering the executive branch to declassify a document, tthe U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said the U.S. Trade Representative white paper was properly exempt from a Freedom of Information Act Request.