National Press Club

National Press Club Backs Supreme Court Brief Seeking Broader FOIA Disclosure

September 15, 2010

The National Press Club has joined an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to encourage broad government disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA.

The brief was filed Sept. 7 by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and media organizations in support of the release of U.S. Navy records about weapons being stored on an island in the Puget Sound.

The case, Glen Scott Milner v. United States Department of the Navy, pertains to whether the government can withhold a "wide range" of documents under a FOIA exemption intended to cover trivial internal personnel rules, according to the Reporters Committee.

Milner has been researching and publishing about explosive hazards for about 20 years and wants to make residents aware of any dangers posed by the Navy installation, the Committee said.

"This court cannot allow journalists to be kept in the dark about such incredible potential risks,'' the brief said.

"FOIA exemptions meant for a narrow purpose should not be expanded at the expense of the public's right to know," said National Press Club President Alan Bjerga. "The National Press Club is pleased to join this effort to ensure that the public is well-informed."