NFIB Disappointed in Court’s Ruling on Government Transparency Case

Date: March 04, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 4, 2021) – NFIB and small businesses are disappointed with the United States Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service v. Sierra Club today. NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing the implications of this case could have substantial economic and social effects on small businesses.

“Today’s decision from the Supreme Court is a disappointment for small businesses who rely on transparency from federal agencies,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center. “Small business owners consistently rank government regulations and red tape as top problems for their small businesses. Today’s decision will only worsen the problem for Main Street.”

The case primarily concerned whether unreleased inter-agency opinion letters, which often reflect the final views of an agency on a matter, can be withheld under Exemption 5 of the Freedom of Information Act. In many cases, these unreleased letters may be the only way to determine the actual reasoning an agency used in developing a regulation and often are instrumental in determining whether or not the regulation is appropriate.

NFIB filed the brief with the American Forest Resource Council, the National Association of Home Builders, and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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