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Reply Brief to Disclose Syria Legal Memo

Protect Democracy is continuing its fight for the Administration’s seven-page legal memorandum setting forth the legal basis for the April 2017 cruise missile strikes in Syria.  Despite the Government’s most recent court filing suggests that the memorandum will be used by the Attorney General when advising the President on the constitutionality of a future military action, the Department of Justice still refuses to release the memorandum.  Instead, the Administration has seen fit to submit hundreds of pages of legal filings in an attempt to hide a seven-page memo from public sight, even though the government has conceded that the memo can be released without revealing any classified information.

Protect Democracy’s most recent filing highlights that the Administration’s legal position runs contrary to the long-running tradition–followed by both Republican and Democratic Presidents alike–of releasing a legal memorandum setting forth the legal basis on which the United States uses military force.  The brief also demonstrates why the Freedom of Information Act bars the government from continuing to withhold the memorandum from the public.

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