"U.S. Supreme Court Rejects FOIA 'High 2' Exemption"

"The U.S. Supreme Court held Monday that the use of a 'High 2' exemption to the federal Freedom of Information Act to withhold non-personnel records is improper, saying that the expansive interpretation of the exemption does not exist.

Milner v. Department of the Navy is the second major FOIA case the Supreme Court has decided in the last week. In both Milner and last week's FCC v. AT&T, the Court held in favor of narrow interpretations of FOIA exemptions.

The exact wording of Exemption 2 covers information 'related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.' However, in 1981, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia established the 'High 2' and 'Low 2' distinctions in its ruling for Crooker v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms. The distinctions were first discussed years before by the U.S. Supreme Court, but never resolved."

Christine Beckett reports for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press' News Media Update March 7, 2011.


SEJ WatchDog of September 23, 2009

Source: RCFP, 03/09/2011