Government Accountability

MFIA frequently represents clients seeking access to information that will improve public understanding of government operations, including law enforcement activities, that promote affirmative disclosure practices, or that enforce procedures intended to speed the release of information.  Our current cases include:


Human Rights Watch (HRW) FOIA

In collaboration with Human Rights Watch, the MFIA clinic has submitted a series of FOIAs to the U.S. military seeking documents detailing mistreatment of detainees in Afghanistan. These requests come on the heels of the commencement of an ICC investigation into these abuses. The clinic has filed the requests with all branches of the military.

Rosenberg v. Department of Defense

MFIA represents prize-winning reporter Carol Rosenberg and the Miami Herald in a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Defense seeking access to emails sent and received by General John F. Kelly, former Secretary of Homeland Security and current White House Chief of Staff, during General Kelly’s time as commander of the U.S. Southern Command. 

MFIA is supporting the PrEP4All Collaboration’s efforts to increase transparency at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and improve access to a once-a-day pill that prevents HIV.


Working with the Yale’s Collaboration for Research Integrity and Transparency (CRIT), the Clinic represents NYU Journalism Professor Charles Seife in a FOIA lawsuit against the FDA.  Professor Seife seeks correspondence and other records related to FDA’s controversial approval of Exondys 51 for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. MFIA filed suit in May 2017. The Clinic is litigating over whether the use of routine and commonly known test procedures can be withheld as “confidential commercial information” under FOIA Exemption 4, which was recently reinterpreted by the Supreme Court in FMI v. Argus Leader.

Seife v. HHS (

MFIA represents leading medical researchers Charles Seife and Dr. Peter Lurie in lawsuit demanding access to information on clinical trials of prescription drugs and medical devices.  The suit is an Administrative Procedure Act action that seeks a court order compelling the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to interpret the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA) faithfully and to comply with their legal obligations to notify the public of failure to report clinical trial results on the website.

For a list of previous matters, please see the MFIA Archive.