First Amendment Coalition v. U.S. Department of Justice

Filing 60

ORDER by Judge Claudia Wilken SETTING A FURTHER SCHEDULE (ndr, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/3/2013)

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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION, 5 6 7 8 9 Plaintiff, No. C 12-1013 CW ORDER SETTING A FURTHER SCHEDULE v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Defendant. ________________________________/ United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 In this case, Plaintiff First Amendment Coalition (FAC) 11 challenges Defendant United States Department of Justice (DOJ)’s 12 denial of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for a copy 13 of a purported DOJ legal memorandum providing a legal analysis and 14 justification for the United States government’s targeted killing 15 of Anwar al-Aulaqi. 16 issued a so-called “Glomar response” in which it refused to 17 confirm or deny the existence of any such memorandum. In denying of Plaintiff’s FOIA request, DOJ 18 The parties have fully briefed cross-motions for summary 19 judgment addressing whether DOJ properly issued a Glomar response 20 to FAC’s FOIA request and whether it had waived its ability to 21 issue such a response. 22 things that the United States government had never officially 23 taken responsibility for the killing of al-Aulaqi and that, in 24 order to confirm or deny the existence of documents responsive to 25 FAC’s request, the government would have to confirm or deny that 26 it had killed al-Aulaqi. 27 28 In its briefing, DOJ argued among other On May 17, 2013, Plaintiff First Amendment Coalition (FAC) filed a motion for leave to submit additional evidence “to the 1 Court to assist its consideration of whether the Government has 2 waived its ability to assert a Glomar response to FAC’s Freedom of 3 Information Act request.” 4 United States Department of Justice (DOJ) also filed a stipulation 5 agreeing that FAC may file the additional evidence. 6 57. 7 Docket No. 58. FAC and Defendant Docket No. Subsequently, on May 22, 2013, DOJ withdrew its motion for summary judgment. 9 DOJ stated that, on that day, “at the direction of the President, 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 8 the Attorney General officially confirmed that the United States 11 Government targeted Anwar al-Aulaqi and conducted an operation 12 that resulted in his death,” and thus no longer sought to keep 13 that fact classified. 14 permitted thirty days to issue a modified response to FAC’s FOIA 15 request and that, within fourteen days thereafter, the parties 16 submit a joint status report addressing whether a dispute remains 17 and, if one does, proposing a briefing schedule. 18 the date of this Order, FAC has not opposed DOJ’s proposed 19 schedule. 20 Docket No. 59. In its notice of withdrawal, Id. at 1-2. DOJ suggests that it be Id. at 2. As of In light of DOJ’s abandonment of its Glomar response, it 21 appears that additional evidence on the issue of waiver of that 22 response need not be submitted at this time. 23 Court DENIES FAC’s motion for leave to submit additional evidence 24 and DECLINES the parties’ stipulation to submit that evidence 25 (Docket Nos. 57 and 58).1 Accordingly, the 26 1 27 28 This denial is without prejudice to either party offering this evidence at a later time, should they believe it to be relevant to another issue. 2 1 In addition, the Court sets the following schedule. DOJ 2 shall provide a modified response to Plaintiff’s FOIA request by 3 Friday, June 21, 2013. 4 shall meet and confer to determine whether there are any remaining 5 disputes regarding the modified response that will require 6 judicial resolution. 7 file a joint status report notifying the Court whether such a 8 dispute remains and, if required, proposing a schedule for further 9 briefing. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Within two weeks thereafter, the parties By Friday, July 5, 2013, the parties shall IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 12 13 Dated: 6/3/2013 CLAUDIA WILKEN United States District Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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