WASHINGTON, June 16 (UPI) — A U.S. judge Monday dismissed a government watchdog’s lawsuit seeking records on missing White House e-mails.
In dismissing the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said she concluded the White House’s Office of Administration, which held the records, wasn’t subject to the Freedom of Information Act, The Washington Post reported.
She said she agreed with the office’s argument that it does not meet a key requirement be subject to FOIA, concluding the Office of Administration doesn’t employ “the type of substantial independent authority that the D.C. Circuit has found sufficient to make an (executive office of the president) component an agency under the FOIA.”
The group filing the lawsuit, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said it would appeal.
“We are disappointed in the ruling and believe the judge reached the wrong legal conclusion,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement. “The Bush administration is using the legal system to prevent the American people from discovering the truth about the millions of missing White House e-mails.”
Until CREW asked for the documents, Sloan said, the office frequently processed FOIA requests.
One of the great mysteries of the last eight years, for me, has been why federal judges are for the most part pretty okay with being given the finger by their two brethren branches of government. It has staggered me for years watching the Bush Administration submit filings that basically say, “We don’t have to show youshit, so just lay back and take it and give us our change,” and judge after judge says, “You know, you’re right, I really should learn to appreciate the nuances of your point of view.” I had always thought that once you’ve achieved a seat on the federal bench, you’d developed a healthy amount of self-esteem and so even if you lined up with someone ideologically, you wouldn’t be open to that person telling you you’re his butler basically, but clearly, as about so many other things, I was very, very wrong.