► U.S. Judge Beryl Howell of DC; one of the good Gals Print E-mail

U.S. Judge Beryl Howell of DC; one of the good Gals


The state of New York presented Judge Howell with a law license in 1983 after she graduated from Columbia University Law School.


In one matter, Judge Howell was assigned to preside over a case involving EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) regarding compliance with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that was served on Scotty in 2017.


In a June 2018 ruling, Judge Howell said that Pruitt and the EPA had to comply with the FOIA request submitted by PEER.


PEER requested any documents that Scotty used to inform a statement he made on climate change last year that went like this:


  • “I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”
  • “There’s tremendous disagreement on the impact of human activity on the climate.”


In her ruling ordering Scotty to turn over the requested records, Judge Howell said:


“The public statements of an agency head about the causes of climate change, even if those statements do not reflect an ‘Agency decision,’ but merely ‘personal opinion,’ may nonetheless guide the agency’s regulatory efforts and, to the extent any agency records provide the basis for such public statements, those agency records are a perfectly proper focus of a FOIA request.”


Judge Howell then gave Scottie and his Toadies until July 11, 2018 to produce to PEER, an explanation for any documents withheld in full or in part.


Kudos to Judge Howell for displaying the courage and fortitude to tell Scottie that he was under a lawful duty to comply with Freedom of Information Act and the requests he received from PEER.


As we speak (ca. June 2018), Judge Howell continues to sit as a District Court Judge in Washington, DC.



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