The wit of John Roberts

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BobG
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Funny supreme court decision written by Roberts. http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-1279.pdf

AT&T’s argument treats the term “personal privacy” as simply the sum of its two words: the privacy of a person. Under that view, the defined meaning of the noun “person,” or the asserted specialized legal meaning, takes on greater significance. But two words together may assume a more particular meaning than those words in isolation. We understand a golden cup to be a cup made of or resembling gold. A golden boy, on the other hand, is one who is charming, lucky, and talented. A golden opportunity is one not to be missed. “Personal” in the phrase “personal privacy” conveys more than just “of a person.” It suggests a type of privacy evocative of human concerns—not the sort usually associated with an entity like, say, AT&T.
We reject the argument that because “person” is defined for purposes of FOIA to include a corporation, the phrase “personal privacy” in Exemption 7(C) reaches corporations as well. The protection in FOIA against disclosure of law enforcement information on the ground that it would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy does not extend to corporations. We trust that AT&T will not take it personally.
 
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BobG
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Cant this ruling be interpreted that a juridical person is not entitled to privacy of any kind ?
Depends on how much money the juridical person sends us:

Dear Nigerian Juridical Person:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson
 
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No, Im asking if information about a company internals reached the government, following a investigation or anything, is there anything which can be considered private after this ruling ?

Or anyone can use FOIA to claim now access to knowledge about internals of the company, books, etc, from gov because they are not longer offered any privacy ?
 
  • #5
BobG
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No. Some information is still protected from FOIA via a different exemption (Exemption 4 - trade secrets and commercial or financial secrets). AT&T wanted to prevent the disclosure of some other information that would be embarrassing to the company.
 
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We trust that AT&T will not take it personally.
Brilliant!
 

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