Judge Gladys Kessler of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has rejected the Department of Justice's argument that it could wholly protect investigative files of the FBI and Criminal Division on an investigation of Alaskan Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska).
The request was made by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington ("CREW") [Ed. note -- I do legal work for CREW but was not involved in this case], and sought records of the investigation. The investigation was specifically sought by Congress after a specific earmark was put into the legislation after it passed both houses of Congress but before it was signed by the President. A large beneficiary of the earmark had held a fundraiser for Young at the time the legislation was moving through Congress.
The Department of Justice categorically denied the request based on the privacy exemptions (6 and 7(C)) claiming it would violate Young's privacy. However, the court found that the public interest in the records outweighed Young's privacy interest and the government needs to process the records and file a Vaughn index if it wants to withhold any of the specific records in the file pursuant to Exemptions 6 and 7(C). In other words, the government can not categorically deny the files; it must process them.
Politico has a link to the opinion and a summary of the case here.
Update: Here's the AP story on the case that ran in the Washington Post.