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Justice Dept loses 3 important FOIA court rulings

Justice Dept loses 3 FOIA court rulings, including rare order to release classified document By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Justice Department has lost three significant court rulings on open records, including a rare order to turn over a classified document.

The rulings have been issued recently by judges in federal district court in Washington. Two have ruled that protecting the privacy of congressmen is not enough reason to withhold records about corruption investigations of the lawmakers.

The third judge ruled the U.S. Trade Representative must turn over a position paper prepared during negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement of the Americas. The Justice Department had argued that disclosure of the document would damage foreign relations since it agreed with other nations in the negotiations that it would not be publicly released.

But the judge said the arguments for secrecy were not plausible or logical explanations.

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Related Keywords:FOIA Lawsuits,Classified information,Human rights and civil liberties,Social issues,Social affairs,Political issues,Government and politics,Legal proceedings,Law and order,General news,International trade,Economy,Business

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