Judge airs fight over making Justice Department legal opinions public

By: Josh Gerstein, Politico, July 18, 2017

A federal judge is mulling whether the Justice Department is defying the law by ignoring an obligation to proactively release legal opinions to the public.

U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson gave an extensive airing to the issue Tuesday as lawyers battled during a courtroom argument session that stretched to nearly two full hours.

Jackson seemed skeptical about aspects of the lawsuit filed last year by the liberal group Campaign for Accountability. However, she issued no formal ruling and her comments left open the possibility that the organization might get a chance to repackage its case in order to press forward with its demand for access to opinions issued by Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Campaign for Accountability attorney Alex Abdo argued that the Justice Department is failing to comply with a rarely litigated provision in the Freedom of Information Act that obliges agencies to make public “statements of policy and interpretations which have been adopted by the agency.”

Read the rest of the article here.