Denied! Appeals court rejects former Gawker editor's demand for Bush-Cheney library records

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on July 8, 2014

From The News Desk

The 2nd circuit court of appeals has rejected an appeal by former Gawker editor, John Cook, to find out which, if any, documents George Bush or Dick Chaney had accessed from previous presidents' official libraries.

Cook made his request while still at Gawker, under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Section 6 of FOIA allows for the withholding of "personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."

Courthouse News reports that Cook's initial attempt to get the documents was thwarted in 2013 by US District Judge Kevin Duffy. Re-thwarting Cook, the 2nd circuit argued, essentially, that Bush and Cheney are entitled to the same privacy rights as anyone else...

We conclude that the records are protected by Exemption 6. Archivists and librarians have long refrained from disclosing information about who requests materials from their collections and what materials they are seeking, without the requesting party's consent. These requests of the former President and Vice-President at issue here, made for purposes of their private research, perhaps for preparation of memoirs, reveal their preliminary thinking and personal matters. The disclosure of this information would indeed "constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."
John Cook is now editor in chief of Pierre Omidyar's the Intercept which, as I wrote on Sunday, recently agreed to hold publication of a previously hyped story after intervention by the US Government. They were subsequently scooped by the Washington Post.

Here's the 2nd Circuit ruling...

John Cook 2nd Circuit