A three-judge federal appeals panel in Washington has overturned a lower court ruling that allowed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to withhold documents from the public regarding its Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.
Senior Circuit Judge Douglas Ginsburg, who wrote the February 12 ruling, cited a prior case which found that “the test for determining whether an agency has improperly withheld records placed under seal by a court is ‘whether the seal, like an injunction, prohibits the agency from disclosing the records’.”
But “the government has not carried its burden in this case,” Ginsburg concluded.
However, Friday’s appellate ruling does not order the immediate release of the Fast and Furious documents which Judicial Watch had requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It merely sends the case back to the lower court for clarification.
In Operation Fast and Furious, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents in Phoenix allowed drug cartel “straw purchasers” to buy more than 2,000 firearms in the U.S. and smuggle them over the border into Mexico, including two AK-47s used to murder U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in 2010. (Read more from “Appeals Panel Overturns Ruling Allowing DOJ to Withhold Fast and Furious Docs” HERE)