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Consumers Union of the United States v. Consumer Product Safety Commission

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
590 F.2d 1209 (D.C. Cir. 1978)


Facts

The Consumers Union of the United States (Union) (plaintiff) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit against the Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission) (defendant), based on the Commission’s failure to disclose information relating to the safety of television sets. The District Court for the District of Columbia found that there was no case or controversy presented in the suit, because the Commission was willing to share the data the Union requested. However, much of the data was subject to a preliminary injunction that had been awarded to television manufacturers through a reverse-FOIA lawsuit filed in the District Court for the District of Delaware. The Union appealed. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed, holding that the preliminary injunction was only a temporary form of relief and that the Union suit could continue because the court had not rendered a final judgment. The Delaware court eventually issued a permanent injunction while the case was pending certiorari from the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals to make a determination on the Union’s ability to continue with its FOIA suit in light of the Delaware injunction.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Robinson, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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