Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Visits By Conservative Christian Leaders To White House Must Be Disclosed

In Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, (D DC, Dec. 17, 2007), a federal district court has ordered the Secret Service to release records of visits to the White House and to Vice President Dick Cheney's residence by nine prominent conservative Christian leaders. Reuters, reporting on the decision, says it could shed light on the extent to which religious leaders such as James Dobson affect policies of the Bush administration. The court held that the visitor records are "agency records" under the control of the Secret Service that must be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which made the FOIA request, is a self-described government watchdog group.

UPDATE: The White House on Thursday asked federal district court Judge Royce C. Lamberth to stay enforcement of his order to release records while his decision is appealed. (AHN)

UPDATE: On Friday, the federal district court granted the White House's motion, allowing the logs to be kept secret until the Court of Appeals rules in the case. (AP)