Justice Department’s Secret Legal Opinions Sought in Court

By: Charles S. Clarke, Government Executive, 6/9/2016

A transparency group is taking the Justice Department to court over whether the confidential opinions of the department’s Office Legal Counsel are covered by the Freedom of Information Act.

The nonprofit Campaign for Accountability on Wednesday, following months of back-and-forth correspondence, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia asking that Justice to disclose all unpublished binding Office of Legal Counsel opinions.

“The Office of Legal Counsel interprets the law for the executive branch,” said campaign Executive Director Anne Weismann in a release. “In a democratic society, everyone has the right to know what the law is. By refusing to reveal its opinions, OLC is creating a secret body of law that erodes the ideals upon which our nation was founded.”

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