How High Court FOIA Ruling Will Help Gov't Contractors

1 min

On July 10, 2019, James Boland and Chris Griesedieck published "How High Court FOIA Ruling Will Help Gov't Contractors" in Law360. The following is an excerpt:

On June 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision interpreting one of the exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act's general requirement that federal agencies provide the public access to covered records. Specifically, the Supreme Court changed the standard applicable to FOIA Exemption 4, which exempts from disclosure "trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential."

Previously, to qualify for this exemption and prevent the disclosure of its information in the possession of a federal agency, a contractor often had to show that there was a likelihood of competitive harm to the contractor if the information were not withheld. The Supreme Court's ruling in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media eliminates this requirement.