Thursday, August 26, 2010, 8/26/2010 10:41:00 AM

Full Appellate Panel at Second Circuit Won't Reconsider Fed Bailout Data Ruling

By Todd

On August 20, the en banc grouping (that's all of them, folks) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City refused the Federal Reserve's request to reconsider a unanimous three-judge panel’s March 19 ruling in Bloomberg LP's Freedom of Information Act suit for access to records relating to its $2 trillion emergency lending program.

You'll recall that in March a three-judge appellate panel upheld a lower court's decision to release the records/documents, rejecting the Federal Reserve's arguments that the records should be withheld due to a FOIA exemption that protects trade secrets, and that revealing the bailed-out institutions could cause investors to lose confidence in the banks' financial security.

Though the requested records were financial in nature, the court said they were considered records of the Fed because Bloomberg requested information on loans that were actually made, not on applications that were received and therefore obtained from a private banking institution.

"The fact that information about an individual can sometimes be inferred from information generated within an agency does not mean that such information was obtained from that person within the meaning of FOIA," the opinion read.

The Fed has seven days to hand over the records to Bloomberg unless the court stays its decision, which would give the Fed 90 days to ask the nation’s high court to review the case.

Nice reporting by Miranda Fleschert on this one, here:

This issue may be going to the Supreme Court if they agree to hear it.


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