Small Businesses Argue for Government Transparency in New Supreme Court Amicus Brief

Date: August 03, 2020

NFIB files an amicus brief in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service v. Sierra Club

Washington, D.C. (August 3, 2020) – NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service v. Sierra Club at the United States Supreme Court in support of the Sierra Club. The brief argues the implications of this case can have substantial economic and social effects on small businesses.

“Government regulations and red tape are consistently cited as top problems small business owners face,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “Transparency is key to holding federal agencies accountable and ensuring that regulations are fairly developed.”

The case primarily concerns whether inter-agency draft documents can be withheld under Exemption 5 of the Freedom of Information Act. In many cases, drafts 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 believes the Supreme Court should affirm the Ninth Circuit decision ordering disclosure and affirm on the ground that the public interest in disclosure outweighs any governmental secrecy interest.

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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