Bibles v. Oregon Natural Desert Association

PETITIONER: Bibles
RESPONDENT: Oregon Natural Desert Association
LOCATION: Larned State Hospital

DOCKET NO.: 96-713
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1986-2005)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 519 US 355 (1997)
DECIDED: Feb 18, 1997

Facts of the case

The Oregon Natural Desert Association filed a request with the Oregon Bureau of Land Management in order to obtain the names and addresses of people who received a newsletter that provided information about the Bureau's activities and plans affecting the Oregon desert. Invoking Exemption 6 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Bureau refused to release any portion of the list. Exemption 6 exempts from disclosure files "similar" to personnel and medical files. Subsequently, the association filed an action in District Court under the FOIA to obtain the list. The court ordered the release. In affirming, the Court of Appeals held that there was a substantial public interest in knowing to whom the government was directing information and providing those persons with additional information from other sources that did not share the Bureau's views.

Question

Must the Oregon Bureau of Land Management release a list of people who receive its newsletter under the Freedom of Information Act?

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