Friday, March 18, 2022
AG Garland announced a new policy this week in a press release titled, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Issues New FOIA Guidelines to Favor Disclosure and Transparency . The actual policy that favors transparency in FOIA requests is located here. The new guidance says that there is a presumption of openness.
Years back the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) filed a FOIA request for DOJ's Blue Book on the discovery protocols used by the government. The DOJ argued the book was work-product and only a small portion was released following a lawsuit. See Louis Virelli & Ellen S. Podgor, Secret Policies, 2019 Illinois Law Rev. 463 (2019). Perhaps now is a good time for the government to think about transparency in discovery practices so that fewer discovery violations occur in criminal cases.