Facing more than 30 Freedom of Information Act lawsuits over State Department e-mails, the Obama administration this week formally asked federal judges to consolidate all the cases in one court.
In filings dated Sept. 2, Justice Department attorneys said one judge could better coordinate the myriad FOIA cases.
“Different judges are being asked to impose a variety of search regimes, resulting in a hodgepodge of orders directing how State manages the search and production of the emails,” the Justice Department stated. “The result is confusion, inefficiencies, and advantages given to some requesters at the expense of others.”
FOIA lawsuits over the State Department’s e-mails are currently spread among 17 different federal judges. The multiple lawsuits, the Justice Department noted, tap into the trove of Hillary Clinton e-mails that are supposed to be fully disclosed by the end of January 2016.
A similar consolidation put more than 100 Guantanamo Bay detainee lawsuits under the management of one judge.
According to the Justice Department, some of the FOIA filers oppose the consolidation proposal.