Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Court won't hear case about expunging FBI records

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

The Supreme Court refused on Monday to hear a case filed by a law professor at DePaul University who wants the FBI to get rid of its file on him.
The professor, Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, had sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation, arguing that the agency should expunge its records on him, in part because they describe actions that are protected by the First Amendment. The federal Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits agencies from keeping records describing such actions, with some exceptions.

By the way,
to obtain FBI records, researchers usually need to file a Freedom of Information Act request. (Prof. Bassiouni's files are protected from disclosure by the Privacy Act.) But some files of interest to legal historians are available on the FBI website, including files for Clarence Darrow, Thurgood Marshall, and the Sacco and Vanzetti case.