Bookmark and Share



» Access to Courts and Court Remedies

» Campaign Finance and Election Laws

» Constitutional Rights and Requirements

» Health, Safety, and Environment

» Open Government and Open Courts

» Representing Consumers

» Workers' Rights

Currently Featured Topics

Government Transparency
Consumer Justice
First Amendment
Health, Safety and the Environment


Read about our work helping lawyers
with cases in the Supreme Court.


  Public Citizen | Litigation Cases ***Search other cases***

Chiquita Brands v. SEC and National Security Archive

Topic(s): Government Transparency – FOIA



We represent the National Security Archive in this reverse-Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case brought by Chiquita Brands International, Inc. in an effort to stop the SEC from releasing documents responsive to the Archive’s FOIA request for records related to illegal payments Chiquita made to a terrorist organization in Colombia. After the Archive made its request and the SEC determined that the documents are responsive, Chiquita used the SEC’s administrative process to request confidential treatment of the documents, arguing that the documents should be withheld from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 7(B). The SEC rejected Chiquita’s argument and Chiquita sued the SEC under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), alleging that the SEC’s decision to disclose the documents was arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law. The Archive intervened. The district court granted summary judgment for the SEC, and Chiquita appealed.

On June 17, 2015, the D.C. Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision, holding that the records are not exempt from disclosure.

Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.


To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.