Government documents related to former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s purge of gay and lesbian federal government employees will be released after McDermott Will & Emery attorneys scored a pro bono win.
The Justice Department must search for and release historical records pertaining to a “purge” of gay and lesbian federal employees by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under J. Edgar Hoover, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled last week.
A federal judge, sweeping aside objections from the Justice Department, has ordered the FBI to conduct a new search for decades-old documents about a U.S. government program to purge the federal workforce of gays and lesbians, including records on the role of a future chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in implementing the Cold War-era crackdown.
A U.S. District Court judge in Washington on July 28 handed down a ruling ordering the FBI to search for and release thousands of documents it initially said it could not find or declined to release that pertain to an anti-gay “purge” in the 1950s that resulted in the firing of thousands of gay federal employees.
The FBI didn’t adequately search its records in response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by a civil rights group that sought information about a decades-long program that began in the 1950s under then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to purportedly purge the agency of gays and lesbians, a Washington, D.C., federal judge ruled Friday.