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N.H. Right to Life v. HHS, 136 S. Ct. 383 (2015)


N.H. Right to Life v. HHS, 136 S. Ct. 383 (2015)

Re: Request for documents prepared in connection with application for grant for family planning services

Disposition: Denying certiorari

  • Exemption 4:  The Supreme Court of the United States denies certiorari.  The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit previously affirmed the district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment and, in relevant part, held that Exemption 4 applied to plaintiff's submitted documents.  In doing so, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit engaged in an analysis of the competitive harm involved.  Justice Thomas, with whom Justice Scalia joins, dissents from the denial of certiorari.  Justice Thomas states that "[the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit] perpetuates an unsupported interpretation of an important federal statute and further muddies an already amorphous test."  Justice Thomas states that "Courts of Appeals have embraced varying versions of a convoluted test that rests on judicial speculation about whether disclosure will cause competitive harm to the entity from which the information was obtained."  Justice Thomas argues that "[w]e should not leave the meaning of Exemption 4 up to an atextual test that has different limits in different Circuits."
Court Decision Topic(s)
Exemption 4
Supreme Court Opinions
Updated February 3, 2016