From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...
American Civil Liberties Union v. United States Department of Defense
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
628 F.3d 612 (2011)
Fourteen suspected terrorist leaders and operatives, referred to as “high value” detainees, were being held at the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay. Upon arrival, the detainees received hearings before Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs). Even though the Department of Defense (DoD) (defendant) made redacted transcripts of the CSRT proceedings available to the public, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (plaintiff) submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, requests to the DoD, asking for complete transcripts and all records used during the CSRTs. In response, the government provided a number of redacted documents, which failed to disclose certain information about the capture, interrogation, and detention of the detainees. The ACLU filed an action in the district court, challenging the government’s withholdings. The government moved for summary judgment, filing affidavits in support of its position that the withholdings were justified by Exemptions 1 and 3 of the FOIA, which allow nondisclosure of information related to intelligence sources and methods. The government principally relied on an affidavit prepared by Wendy Hilton, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer. The affidavit presented five distinct reasons why public release of the information would harm national security, including damage to government foreign affairs and obstruction of the necessary questioning of terrorist operatives. The district court granted the government’s motion, and the ACLU appealed, arguing that: (1) the information was not exempt, because it was already available to the public in other, similar documents; (2) the interrogation techniques used had since been declared illegal and are therefore not protected intelligence source or method information; and (3) the documents could not be withheld, because public disclosure would not jeopardize national security.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sentelle, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 222,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.