New players join newspapers in using FOIA requests
Watchdog groups like Judicial Watch have come to replace the media when it comes to FOIA requests and lawsuits. The Freedom of Information Act of 1966 was signed into law to mainly be used by traditional media, but over time, advocacy groups and watchdog groups have taken the lead on FOIA litigation instead because media organizations claim to be cash strapped. According to Judicial Watch’s Michael Bekesha, who is quoted in this article, Judicial Watch filed 45 FOIA lawsuits last year.
Below is a quote from the article discussing some of JW’s biggest legal efforts:
It dislodged from the Internal Revenue Service last year numerous documents tied to the inappropriate scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. It also won release of 42,000 pages of Department of Justice documents concerning the Fast and Furious scandal. That involved a botched federal gun-trafficking investigation that allowed hundreds of firearms to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartel enforcers.