Patterico's Pontifications

12/18/2013

Judge: Obama Administration Position on Transparency “Cavalier” and “Troubling”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:39 am

Secrecy News reports:

DC District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle yesterday ordered the Obama Administration to release a copy of an unclassified presidential directive, and she said the attempt to withhold it represented an improper exercise of “secret law.”

The Obama White House has a “limitless” view of its authority to withhold presidential communications from the public, she wrote, but that view is wrong.

“The government appears to adopt the cavalier attitude that the President should be permitted to convey orders throughout the Executive Branch without public oversight– to engage in what is in effect governance by ‘secret law’,” Judge Huvelle wrote in her December 17 opinion.

“The Court finds equally troubling the government’s complementary suggestion that ‘effective’ governance requires that a President’s substantive and non-classified directives to Executive Branch agencies remain concealed from public scrutiny,” she wrote.

The directive in question provides guidance to agencies in making decisions concerning foreign aid and development. The Obama administration had tried to keep this secret, relying on a doctrine (executive privilege) that typically is used to shield a president’s internal deliberations with his closest staffers. The judge recognized that this argument should not shield from public scrutiny an order conveyed to the furthest reaches of the executive branch.

Because transparency!

21 Comments

  1. The most transparently corrupt administration EVAH

    Comment by JD (8935bd) — 12/18/2013 @ 8:03 am

  2. I hope this and the NSA case will be the beginning of the courts reining in a lawless President.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/18/2013 @ 8:17 am

  3. “Cavalier” and “Troubling”???

    how about “Menducious” and “Nauseating”?

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (b76d97) — 12/18/2013 @ 8:41 am

  4. When presidents are popular, they get a lot of deference from judges. When not, not.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/18/2013 @ 8:45 am

  5. I dunno, though. I find this administration plenty transparent. They’re liars and crooks. What’s the big secret?

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/18/2013 @ 8:47 am

  6. It would be interesting to see what other executive orders have been issued in secret. Is there a list?

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/18/2013 @ 8:49 am

  7. Coverage on NPR… none.

    And speaking of NPR, they did report on the fact that Obama met with high tech CEOs, but avoided any mention of the ObamaCare topic he tried to make the centerpiece, and the CEOs’grumbling about that.

    NPR = No Problemo Radio (for Dems)

    Comment by Ray Van Dune (aeaf2b) — 12/18/2013 @ 9:22 am

  8. Comment by JD (8935bd) — 12/18/2013 @ 8:03 am

    Somewhere, Albert Fall is smiling.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 12/18/2013 @ 9:31 am

  9. Can we try him for treason yet? Because this seems like it fits that requirement.

    Comment by elaine (727daf) — 12/18/2013 @ 9:31 am

  10. It would be interesting to see what other executive orders have been issued in secret. Is there a list?

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/18/2013

    I’m sure there’s a secret list.

    Comment by elaine (727daf) — 12/18/2013 @ 9:32 am

  11. A Sooper Sekrit list kept in Dean Wormer’s desk drawer.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 12/18/2013 @ 9:40 am

  12. Dean Wormer would make a better president. So would the horse.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/18/2013 @ 10:30 am

  13. If Obama were a white Republican and had taken actions similar, he would already be in the dock.

    Democrats are perfectly happy with totalitarianism just as long as they hold the keys to the gulag.

    Comment by Estragon (19fa04) — 12/18/2013 @ 12:39 pm

  14. Dean Wormer would make a better president. So would the horse.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/18/2013 @ 10:30 am

    It wouldn’t even take the whole horse to be better than Obama. The south end of a northbound horse would be enough.

    Comment by Estragon (19fa04) — 12/18/2013 @ 12:40 pm

  15. Can’t wait to see the secret order–you have to wonder what’s in it that makes keeping it secret so important to the president.

    Comment by rochf (f3fbb0) — 12/18/2013 @ 1:05 pm

  16. Comment by Estragon (19fa04) — 12/18/2013 @ 12:40 pm

    I thought that was what we had now?

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 12/18/2013 @ 1:18 pm

  17. I thought that was what we had now?

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 12/18/2013 @ 1:18 pm

    Nope, just the hole!

    Comment by peedoffamerican (c1890a) — 12/19/2013 @ 1:21 am

  18. Brave of the judge to metaphorically immolate herself with a career-ending decision. Not too late to retract, I assume.

    Comment by ErisGuy (76f8a7) — 12/19/2013 @ 2:33 am

  19. career-ending decision.

    What career? It’s a lifetime appointment.

    If she had a chance for an appeals court nomination, she probably still does, although not with ths president.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (9fe80b) — 12/19/2013 @ 2:59 am

  20. “I will not yield those principles which I have fought for.”
    Sam Houston.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 12/19/2013 @ 3:58 am

  21. oh boy…she just earned a “visit” from the IRS

    Comment by Joe (5d7144) — 12/20/2013 @ 8:46 am

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