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Law clinic sues Obama over
secret trade negotiations

"Yale suing Obama administration," tweets FOIANews.

That's a stretch: a team of Yale law students is helping a news reporter sue the administration over its secrecy in trade negotiations. Still, the suit is one of those little-noticed reminders that Yale Law School—alma mater of Democratic presidents and contenders—isn't averse to kicking the donkey in the White House occasionally.

William New of the website Intellectual Property Watch filed the suit December 18 with help from Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic.

Back in March, IP Watch filed a Freedom of Information request with the US Trade Representative for documents related to negotiations of a treaty called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. After a long delay, the USTR finally declined to release most of the documents. So IP Watch brought the lawsuit.

"The Obama administration has shared some of the documents at issue in the lawsuit with foreign governments and others with domestic industry groups," the Washington Post reports. But the documents are not available to the general public." says.

Adds Yale Law student Joshua Weinger ’06PhD, ’14JD: "It's really only the American public that's been shut out of access to these documents."

A USTR spokeswoman responds that Trans-Pacific Partnership "negotiations have been more transparent and consultative than any US trade agreement in history."

Filed under US Trade Representative, Law School, freedom of information
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