Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Declassified docs detail Ford's FOIA veto battle

President Gerald R. Ford wanted to sign the Freedom of Information Act strengthening amendments passed by Congress 30 years ago, but concern about leaks (shared by his chief of staff Donald Rumsfeld and deputy Richard Cheney) and legal arguments that the bill was unconstitutional (marshaled by government lawyer Antonin Scalia, among others) persuaded Ford to veto the bill, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive to mark the 30th anniversary of the veto override. On Nov. 20, 1974, the House voted to override Ford's veto by a margin of 371 to 31; on Nov. 21, the Senate followed suit by a 65 to 27 vote, amending the FOIA to provide core protections including judicial review of executive secrecy claims.

No comments: