One Federal judge told fellow government employees Monday that courts are too lax in considering the actual merit of most Presidential claims that information should remain classified for the sake of national security.
According to a POLITICO report, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said most Federal courts are “far too deferential” to the executive branch when determining whether information is legitimately classified.
“It bothers me that judges, in general, are far too deferential to Exemption 1 claims,” said Lamberth. Exemption 1 claims can allow information, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), to be withheld under executive order.
Lamberth, who was addressing a crowd of employees gathered at a conference for employees who handle FOIA requests, explained he’d observed instances of egregious abuse of the FOIA policy by U.S. intelligence agencies and that courts should be more diligent in considering the merits of future classification claims made by the executive branch.