Tell us about your top U.S. Supreme Court or federal appeals court victory over the past year and how you and your team achieved the win.
We persuaded the Supreme Court to overturn 45 years of [Freedom of Information Act] precedent. A newspaper demanded sales information for 321,000 retail locations participating in SNAP (formerly “food stamps”). The government refused to disclose it, but lost at trial and abandoned the case. Our client intervened, invoking FOIA’s Exemption 4, which exempts “confidential” commercial information. Precedent deemed information “confidential” only if disclosure would generate “substantial competitive harm,” which the Eighth Circuit found speculative. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that FOIA requires no “competitive harm” showing at all.
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