Schwartz v. Department of Defense

About the Case

In May 2013, New Yorker staff writer Mattathias Schwartz submitted a FOIA request with the CIA for records providing guidance to the officials responsible for censoring Guantanamo military commissions. The CIA denied Schwartz’s request, arguing that the documents could be withheld under several FOIA exemptions. MFIA submitted additional, expedited FOIA requests to the Department of Defense, CIA and four other government agencies in March 2015. 

MFIA filed suit in December 2015, asking the court to order the agencies to produce documents responsive to Schwartz’s requests. The agencies have provided some additional documentation, but continue to omit or redact other information. However, the new records that the agencies have produced confirm CIA censorship of the commissions.  The clinic intends to challenge these omissions and redactions, as well as challenging the adequacy of some of the searches, in a cross-motion for summary judgment. The parties are expected to brief cross-motions for summary judgment in the fall of 2016.