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Ctr. for Effective Gov't v. Dep't of State, No. 13-0414, 2013 WL 6641262 (D.D.C. December 17, 2013) (Huvelle, J.)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Re: Request for the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development Disposition: Denying defendant's motion for summary judgment; granting plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment
  • Exemption 5, Other Privileges:  The court concludes that "the [Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development] is not exempt from disclosure under Exemption 5 of FOIA."  The court finds that the presidential communications privilege does not apply as "this is not a case involving 'a quintessential and nondelegable Presidential power'—such as appointment and removal of Executive Branch officials . . . where separation of powers concerns are at their highest."  Additionally, the court notes "that the forward-looking [Directive] is not 'revelatory of the President's deliberations' such that its public disclosure would undermine future decision-making."  The court also finds that "the 'President's ability to communicate his [final] decisions privately', is not implicated, since the [Directive] was distributed far beyond the President's close advisers and its substance was widely discussed by the President in the media."  Overall, the court finds that "the purposes of the privilege are not furthered by protecting from public disclosure presidential directives distributed beyond the President's closest advisers for nonadvisory purposes."
District Court
Exemption 5
Updated August 6, 2014