Well, sketches, I guess we call them. But compare the looks on Justice Alito’s face during the Solicitor General’s argument and Noel Francisco’s.
Following up on my last post, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform advances several grounds for rejecting the Justice Department’s assertion of deliberative process privilege. The broadest argument is that deliberative process is a common law, not a constitutional, privilege and therefore must give way to Congress’s constitutional power of oversight. As COGR puts it, “[d]eliberative process, a common law evidentiary privilege designed to protect the confidentiality of some intra-agency deliberations in the context of adjudicatory proceedings (and FOIA), simply is not consistent with an overarching constitutional principle that requires the Congress to oversee Executive Branch agencies precisely by peering inside them.” Motion at 27. We have encountered a similar argument before in connection with whether Congress is bound to respect the attorney-client privilege, another common law privilege.