On June 12, 2008, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of a FOIA requester in Taylor v. Sturgell (No. 07-371), reversing the D.C. Circuit’s decision denying a FOIA requester access to documents on the grounds of issue preclusion. The Supreme Court reinstated Mr. Taylor’s FOIA case that had been dismissed on res judicata grounds because a prior FOIA requester was a “close associate” of Mr. Taylor’s, and had allegedly been his “virtual representative” in a prior FOIA case that was brought unsuccessfully seeking the same documents.
In reversing, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the “virtual representation” doctrine that the D.C. Circuit had relied upon to preclude Mr. Taylor from litigating the denial of his FOIA request in federal court. Public Citizen Litigation Group successfully represented Mr. Taylor before the Supreme Court.
Additionally, the Supreme Court cited to an amicus brief filed by the National Security Archives, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Electronic Frontier Foundation and the National Whistleblower Center.
See, Whistleblower Protection Blog (Feb. 27, 2008) for more information on the amicus brief.