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CASE SUMMARIES

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EXPLANATORY NOTE The following summaries represent an attempt to highlight the most important-and relevant-principles of law involved in each case. They are not intended to be exhaustive of all issues raised or decided during the litigation. It is important to note that many of these cases are pending or are on appeal, and therefore that the holding of the court may be reversed or modified in the future. If the case has not been closed, its status is shown in brackets following the summary. In instances where the court has not yet rendered a decision, the most significant issues raised in the litigation have been indicated. Allen v. Department of Defense (Not Reported) (D.D.C. 1981)

There is no authority or necessity for retaining the Clerk of the House of Representatives as a party defendant in a Freedom of Information Act suit seeking agency documents relating to a House Committee investigation. Remaining issue raised. - Do copies of correspondence or records of communications between the Department of Defense and the CIA and the House Select Committee on Assassinations relating to the Select Committee's investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy, or other Department of Defense or CIA documents pertaining to the Committee's investigation, constitute Congressional-and therefore nondisclosable-records under the Freedom of Information Act or are they protected from disclosure under the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution? [This case is pending in U.S. District Court.) Allen v. Federal Bureau of Investigation [Not Reported) (D.D.C.

1982) (1) Copies of correspondence or records of communication between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the House Select Committee on Assassinations relating to the Select Committee's investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy, and other FBI documents pertaining to the Committee's investigation, do not constitute Congressional—and therefore nondisclosable-records under the Freedom of Information Act where letters from the Committee Chairman and the Clerk of the House (written after the Committee expired), a nondisclosure agreement, and a memorandum of understanding do not indicate a sufficient assertion of Congressional intent to retain control over the documents. (2) Communications sent from the Committee to the FBI in pursuit of a lawful Congressional investigation are an integral part of the deliberative and communicative process of Congress and are protected from disclosure by the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution. (3) FBI investigatory records, created before the Committee's existence and provided to the Committee, are outside the protection of the Clause. [This case is pending in U.S. District Court.]

American Family Life Assurance of Columbus v. American Broad

casting Companies, Inc. (S.C. N.Y County, N.Y.) Issues raised.—(1) Are Congressional committee staff members liable under a conspiracy theory in a defamation suit arising out of their actions during a committee investigation? (2) What constitutes proper service of process on Congressional defendants in a suit in state court in New York? [This case is pending in the State Supreme Court in New York County, N.Y.] American Federation of Government Employees v. Pierce, 697 F.2d

303 (D.C. Cir. 1982) (1) A Member of Congress who alleges that a defendant has failed to execute the laws faithfully will be found to lack standing if his grievance is one shared equally by all citizens. (2) A Member who can show that a defendant has impaired a special right of his as a Member of Congress does have standing to maintain an action. (3) The legislative veto provision of the Housing and Urban Development-Independent Agencies Appropriations Act of 1983 (Pub. L. 97-272), which prohibits HUD from implementing a reorganization without the prior approval of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, is unconstitutional in that it deprives the President of his constitutional right to veto legislation, violates the separation of powers doctrine, and impermissibly delegates legislative power to congressional committees Arieff v. Department of the Navy [Not Reported) (D.D.C. 1982)

Records concerning the distribution of prescription drugs by the Department of the Navy to the Office of the Attending Physician to the U.S. Congress can be withheld from disclosure under Exemption 6 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. $ 552(b)(6) because they are medical files and their disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Such withholding is proper even though the requested records do not, on their face, contain the personal details of any individual's medical condition. [This case is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.] Benford v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. (Not Reported)

(D. Md. 1982) (1) Congressional committee staff investigators are not entitled to qualified immunity under the holding of Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 102 S. Ct. 2727, for the surreptitious taping, and subsequent broadcast on national television, of a meeting between themselves and an individual under investigation since their actions violated clearly established statutory rights under the Maryland wiretapping statute and the Federal eavesdropping statute of which a reasonable person would have known. (2) Although the Harlow case is inapplicable to common law tort claims, Congressional staff investigators are also not entitled to qualified immunity from such claims unless they can demonstrate that their challenged conduct was legitimately authorized by Congress or was part of the deliberative or legislative process. [These holdings are on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.]

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