Appeals court says US Trade Representative can withhold classified document in FOIA case

Washington Post:  WASHINGTON — An appeals court ruled Friday that the U.S. Trade Representative can withhold a classified position paper prepared during free-trade negotiations, reversing a lower court that had ordered the document’s release under a Freedom of Information Act request.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the disclosure would reveal a position taken by the U.S. in the past. “It seems perfectly reasonable to think that could limit the flexibility of U.S. negotiators,” wrote Judge A. Raymond Randolph, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush. He was joined by Judges Janice Rogers Brown and Brett M. Kavanaugh, both appointees of President George W. Bush.