US files brief supporting U of I in privacy case

July 21, 2011

The Associated Press

AP PHOTO
Former University of Illinois President B. Joseph White resigned after an admissions scandal.

The U.S. Department of Justice is supporting the University of Illinois' appeal of a court ruling in a case involving the release of names in an admissions scandal. 

The Justice Department filed an amicus brief Wednesday, joining colleges and other groups in supporting the university's appeal to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. 

The case turns on legal protections under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. 

In March, a federal judge found the school was wrong to use the law to withhold the names of college applicants involved in the scandal, which involved the admission of well-connected, under-qualified students. The university is appealing that ruling. 

The Chicago Tribune sued to get the names last year, after the university denied two Freedom of Information Requests.