High court rejects limits on FOIA lawsuits

By The Associated Press
06.12.08

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has rejected limits on Freedom of Information Act lawsuits that seek the same information as earlier legal actions.

In a unanimous ruling in Taylor v. Sturgell, the justices said a lower court was wrong to conclude that a vintage-airplane buff could not sue for the same documents that were sought by a fellow lover of antique aircraft.

Brent Taylor is executive director of the Antique Aircraft Association and a mechanic who restores vintage airplanes. He sued the Federal Aviation Administration for the plans for an antique F-45 plane.

Taylor filed his lawsuit less than a month after an appeals court issued its ruling against another member of the same organization who sought the same plans.

Government watchdogs and press freedom groups backed Taylor. They worried that government agencies would try to short-circuit efforts by people who request similar records for different reasons.