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Lardner v. Department of Justice (2003)

Close Date: 05/31/2005
Topic(s): Government Transparency – FOIA
Status: closed
Date Of Involvement: 02/04/2003
Docket: 03-0180 (JDB)

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Public Citizen represented a reporter, George Lardner, who is writing a book about presidential pardons. Mr. Lardner made several requests to the Office of the Pardon Attorney at the Department of Justice, and the Office denied parts of his requests on the basis of the presidential communciations privilege, the deliberative process privilege, and privacy. Mr. Lardner brought suit in the US District Court for Washington, DC. During litigation, the Office stepped back from its original position and released more and more documents. Deciding cross-motions for summary judgment, the court ruled in favor of the Office on the privilege claims but in favor of Lardner on some of the privacy issues.