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

They can keep secrets, but we can't


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.