We granted certiorari[1] in this case in order to determine whether Exemption 3 of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U. S. C. § 552 (b) (3),[2] permits nondisclosure *257 to respondents of certain reports in the files of the Federal Aviation Administration. This exemption provides that material need not be disclosed if "specifically exempted from disclosure by statute." The reports are known as Systems Worthiness Analysis Program (SWAP) Reports.[3] They consist of analyses made by representatives of the FAA concerning the operation and maintenance performance of commercial airlines. Over-sight and regulation of air travel safety is the responsibility of the FAA, § 601 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, 72 Stat. 775, as amended, 49 U. S. C. § 1421. The FAA claims the documents are protected from disclosure *258 by virtue of § 1104 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, 49 U. S. C. § 1504.[4]The facts of the case, in its present posture,[5] are quite simple. During the summer of 1970, in connection with a study of airline safety being conducted by them, the respondents, associated with the Center for the Study of Responsive Law, requested that the FAA make available certain SWAP Reports. The FAA declined to produce the documents. In accordance with established procedures adopted by the FAA, the respondents then filed timely notice of administrative appeal in August 1970. Several months later, while this administrative appeal was pending, the Air Transport Association, on behalf of its airline *259 members, requested that the FAA make no public disclosure of the SWAP Reports. The Association noted that, in a prior memorandum of its own staff, the FAA had pointed out that " `[t]he SWAP Program requires a cooperative effort on both the part of the company and FAA if it is to work effectively,' " and argued that "[t]he present practice of non-public submissions, which includes even tentative findings and opinions as well as certain factual material, encourages a spirit of openness on the part of airline management which is vital to the promotion of aviation safety—the paramount consideration of airlines and government alike in this area." In February 1971, the FAA formally denied respondents' request for the SWAP Reports. It took the position that the reports are exempt from public disclosure under 5 U. S. C. § 552 (b) (3), the section at issue here. As previously noted, that section provides that such material need not be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act when the material is specifically exempted from disclosure by statute. The FAA noted that § 1104 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 permits the Administrator to withhold information, public disclosure of which, in his judgment, would adversely affect the interests of the objecting party and is not required to be disclosed in the interest of the public. The FAA also based its denial of these data on the exemption for intra-agency memoranda (5 U. S. C. § 552 (b) (5)), the exemption for investigatory files compiled for law enforcement purposes (§ 552 (b) (7)), and, finally, the exemption for documentation containing trade secrets and commercial or financial information of a privileged or confidential nature (§ 552 (b) (4)). The FAA's answer also explained its view of the need for confidentiality in SWAP Reports:

"The effectiveness of the in-depth analysis that is the essence of SWAP team investigation depends, to *260 a great extent, upon the full, frank and open cooperation of the operator himself during the inspection period. His assurance by the FAA that the resulting recommendations are in the interest of safety and operational efficiency and will not be disclosed to the public are the major incentives impelling the operator to hide nothing and to grant free access to procedures, system of operation, facilities, personnel, as well as management and operational records in order to exhibit his normal course of operations to the SWAP inspectors."
Respondents then sued in the District Court, seeking, inter alia, the requested documents. The District Court held that "the documents sought by plaintiffs . . . are, as a matter of law, public and non-exempt within the meaning of 5 United States Code [§] 552, and plaintiffs are entitled to judgment . . . as a matter of law."A divided Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the District Court "insofar as appellants rely upon Exemption (3)," but remanded the case for consideration of other exemptions which the FAA might wish to assert. 162 U. S. App. D. C. 298, 498 F. 2d 1031 (1974). Examining first what it felt was the ordinary meaning of the language of Exemption 3, the Court of Appeals held that its language required the exempting statute relied on to specify or categorize the particular documents it authorizes to be withheld. Because § 1104 delegated "broad discretionary authority" under a "public interest" standard, it was held not within the scope of Exemption 3. The Court of Appeals distinguished this Court's decision in EPA v. Mink, 410 U. S. 73 (1973), on the ground that the exemption involved in that case was construed to be a specific reference by Congress to a definite class of documents, namely those that must be kept secret " `in the *261 interest of the national defense or foreign policy,' " 162 U. S. App. D. C., at 300, 498 F. 2d, at 1033. The Court of Appeals read the Act as providing a comprehensive guide to congressional intent. One of the Act's major purposes was seen as intending to eliminate what it characterized as vague phrases such as "in the public interest" or "for good cause" as a basis for withholding information. Under these circumstances, the court concluded that § 1104 cannot be considered a specific exemption by statute within the meaning of Exemption 3 of the Freedom of Information Act.

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We granted certiorari to decide whether the First Amendment bars enforcement of a statute authorizing closure of a premises found to be used as a place for prostitution and lewdness because the premises are also used as an adult bookstore.

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We granted certiorari to determine whether lists of addresses collected and utilized by the Bureau of the Census are exempt from disclosure, either by way of civil discovery or the Freedom of Information Act, under the confidentiality provisions of the Census Act, 13 U. S. C. §§ 8 and 9.

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A public high school student delivered a speech at a school assembly nominating another student for a student office. During the speech, he referred to his candidate using a graphic and explicit sexual metaphor. The auditorium contained approximately 600 students, including 14-year-old students. Some of the students enjoyed the speech, while others appeared embarrassed. Prior to the assembly, several teachers warned the student against giving the speech because of the inappropriate content.

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Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (IRC) provides that "[c]orporations . . . organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable . . . or educational purposes" are entitled to tax exemption. Until 1970, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) granted tax-exempt status under § 501(c)(3) to private schools, independent of racial admissions policies, and granted charitable deductions for contributions to such schools under § 170 of the IRC. But in 1970, the IRS concluded that it could no longer justify allowing tax-exempt status under § 501(c)(3) to private schools that practiced racial discrimination, and in 1971 issued Revenue Ruling 71-447 providing that a private school not having a racially nondiscriminatory policy as to students is not "charitable" within the common law concepts reflected in §§ 170 and 501(c)(3). In No. 81-3, petitioner Bob Jones University, while permitting unmarried Negroes to enroll as students, denies admission to applicants engaged in an interracial marriage or known to advocate interracial marriage or dating. Because of this admissions policy, the IRS revoked the University's tax-exempt status. After paying a portion of the federal unemployment taxes for a certain taxable year, the University filed a refund action in Federal District Court, and the Government counterclaimed for unpaid taxes for that and other taxable years. Likewise, petitioner Goldsboro Christian Schools maintains a racially discriminatory admissions policy based upon its interpretation of the Bible, accepting for the most part only Caucasian students. The IRS determined that Goldsboro was not an organization described in § 501(c)(3), and hence was required to pay federal social security and unemployment taxes. After paying a portion of such taxes for certain years, Goldsboro filed a refund suit in Federal District Court, and the IRS counterclaimed for unpaid taxes.

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476 U.S. 693 (1986) BOWEN, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL. v. ROY ET AL. No. 84-780. Supreme Court of United States. Argued January 14, 1986 Decided June 11, 1986 APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA *694 Deputy Solicitor General Geller argued the cause for appellants. With him on the briefs were Solicitor General Fried, Acting Assistant Attorney General Willard, Kathryn A. Oberly, and Peter R. Maier. Gary S. Gildin argued the cause for appellees. With him on the brief were Franklin A. Miles, Jr., Stefan Presser, and Charles S. Sims.[*] […]

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In No. 83-1075, we granted certiorari to decide whether § 102(d)(3) of the National Security Act of 1947, as incorporated in Exemption 3 of the Freedom of Information Act, exempts from disclosure only those sources of intelligence information to which the Central Intelligence Agency had to guarantee confidentiality in order to obtain the information. In No. 83-1249, the cross-petition, we granted certiorari to decide whether the Freedom of Information Act requires the Agency to disclose the institutional affiliations of persons whose identities are exempt from disclosure as "intelligence sources."

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The issue on appeal is whether a limitation of $250 on contributions to committees formed to support or oppose ballot measures violates the First Amendment.

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The question presented on this appeal from the Supreme Court of Wisconsin is whether a State may constitutionally require that an elected board of education prohibit teachers, other than union representatives, to speak at open meetings, at which public participation is permitted, if such speech is addressed to the subject of pending collective-bargaining negotiations.

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In this appeal we review the decision of the three-judge District Court holding a Massachusetts loyalty oath unconstitutional.

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412 U.S. 94 (1973) COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM, INC. v. DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE. No. 71-863. Supreme Court of United States. Argued October 16, 1972. Decided May 29, 1973.[*] CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT. *96 J. Roger Wollenberg argued the cause for petitioner in No. 71-863. With him on the briefs were Lloyd N. Cutler, Timothy B. Dyk, Daniel Marcus, Robert V. Evans, John D. Appel, and Joseph DeFranco. Solicitor General Griswold argued the cause for petitioners in No. 71-864. With him on the brief were Acting Assistant Attorney General Comegys, Howard E. […]

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We granted certiorari to decide whether a federal court may enjoin the issuance by Congress of a subpoena duces tecum that directs a bank to produce the bank records of an organization which claims a First Amendment *493 privilege status for those records on the ground that they are the equivalent of confidential membership lists. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that compliance with the subpoena "would invade the constitutional rights" of the organization, and that judicial relief is available to prevent implementation of the subpoena.

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We granted certiorari to decide whether a state statute that provides employees with the absolute right not to work *705 on their chosen Sabbath violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

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The question presented is whether the President, acting through the Secretary of State, has authority to revoke a passport on the ground that the holder's activities in foreign countries are causing or are likely to cause serious damage to the national security or foreign policy of the United States.

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Petitioner was manager of a movie theater where a sexually explicit film was exhibited. After police officers saw part of the film, an assistant district attorney requested a New York Criminal Court judge to view it. Upon seeing the entire performance, the judge signed warrants for seizure of the film and for petitioner's arrest on the ground that the film was obscene. Exhibition of an obscene film violates New York Penal Law § 235.05. No pretrial motion was made for return of the single film copy seized or for its suppression as evidence. There was no showing below that the seizure prevented exhibition of the film by use of another copy, and the record does not indicate whether another copy was available. Petitioner's trial was held 47 days after his arrest and the film seizure, and he was convicted. He argued that seizure of the film without a prior adversary hearing violated the Fourteenth Amendment. He also challenged his conviction on substantive grounds, arguing that he was convicted under standards of obscenity both overbroad and unconstitutionally vague, and that films shown only to consenting adults in private are constitutionally protected. The New York Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction, holding that an adversary hearing prior to seizure of the film was not required and that an ex parte warrant, issued after a judicial determination of obscenity, was constitutionally sufficient.

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438 U.S. 1 (1978) HOUCHINS, SHERIFF OF THE COUNTY OF ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA v. KQED, INC., ET AL. No. 76-1310. Supreme Court of United States. Argued November 29, 1977. Decided June 26, 1978. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT. *3 Kelvin H. Booty, Jr., argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs was Richard J. Moore. William Bennett Turner argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief were Jack Greenberg, James M. Nabrit III, and Stanley A. Bass.[*] MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an […]

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Respondent United States Senator publicizes examples of wasteful governmental spending by awarding his "Golden Fleece of the Month Award." One such award was given to federal agencies that had funded petitioner scientist's study of emotional behavior in which he sought an objective measure of aggression, concentrating upon the behavior patterns of certain animals. The award was announced in a speech prepared with the help of respondent legislative assistant, the text of which was incorporated in a widely distributed press release. Subsequently, the award was also referred to in newsletters sent out by the Senator, in a television interview program on which he appeared, and in telephone calls made by the legislative assistant to the sponsoring federal agencies. Petitioner sued respondents in Federal District Court for defamation, alleging, inter alia, that in making the award and publicizing it nationwide, respondents had damaged him in his professional and academic standing. The District Court granted summary judgment for respondents, holding that the Speech or Debate Clause afforded absolute immunity for investigating the funding of petitioner's research, for the speech in the Senate, and for the press release, since it fell within the "informing function" of Congress. The court further held that petitioner was a "public figure" for purposes of determining respondents' liability; that respondents were protected by the First Amendment, thereby requiring petitioner to prove "actual malice"; and that, based on the depositions, affidavits, and pleadings, there was no genuine issue of material fact on the issue of actual malice, neither respondents' failure to investigate nor unfair editing and summarizing being sufficient to establish "actual malice." Finally, the court held that, even if petitioner were found to be a "private person," relevant state law required a summary judgment for respondents. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the Speech or Debate Clause protected the statements made in the press release and newsletters and that, although the followup telephone calls and the statements made on television were not protected by that Clause, they were protected by the First Amendment, since petitioner was a "public figure," and that on the record there was no showing of "actual malice." Held: 1. While this Court's practice is to avoid reaching constitutional questions if a dispositive nonconstitutional ground is available, special considerations in this case mandate that the constitutional questions first be resolved. If respondents have immunity under the Speech or Debate Clause, no other questions need be considered. And where it appears that the Court of Appeals would not affirm the District Court's state law holding, so that the appeal could not be decided without reaching the First Amendment issue, that issue will also be reached here. Pp. 443 U. S. 122-123. 2. The Speech or Debate Clause does not protect transmittal of information by individual Members of Congress by press releases and newsletters. Pp. 443 U. S. 123-133. (a) There is nothing in the history of the Clause or its language suggesting any intent to create an absolute privilege from liability or suit for defamatory statements made outside the legislative Chambers; precedents support the conclusion that a Member may be held liable for republishing defamatory statements originally made in the Chamber. Pp. 443 U. S. 127-130. (b) Neither the newsletters nor the press release here was "essential to the deliberation of the Senate," and neither was part of the deliberative process. Gravel v. United States, 408 U. S. 606; Doe v. McMillan, 412 U. S. 306. P. 443 U. S. 130. (c) The newsletters and press release were not privileged as part of the "informing function" of Members of Congress to tell the public about their activities. Individual Members' transmittal of information about their activities by press releases and newsletters is not part of the legislative function or the deliberations that make up the legislative process; in contrast to voting and preparing committee reports, which are part of Congress' function to inform itself, newsletters and press releases are primarily means of informing those outside t.he legislative forum, and represent the views and will of a single Member. Doe v. McMillan, supra, distinguished. Pp. 443 U. S. 132-133. 3. Petitioner is not a "public figure" so as to make the "actual malice" standard of proof of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, applicable. Neither the fact that local newspapers reported the federal grants to petitioner for his research nor the fact that he had access to the news media as shown by reports of his response to the announcement of the Golden Fleece Award demonstrates that he was a public figure prior to the controversy engendered by that award. His access, such as it was, came after the alleged libel, and was limited to responding to the announcement of the award. Those charged with alleged defamation cannot, by their own conduct, create their own defense by making the claimant a public figure. Nor is the concern about public expenditures sufficient to make petitioner a public figure, petitioner at no time having assumed any role of public prominence in the broad question of such concern. Pp. 443 U. S. 133-136. 579 F.2d 1027, reversed and remanded. BURGER, C.J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which WHITE, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, POWELL, REHNQUIST, and STEVENS, JJ., joined, and in all but n. 10 of which STEWART, J., joined. STEWART, J., filed a statement concurring in part and dissenting in part, post, p. 443 U. S. 136. BRENNAN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 443 U. S. 136.

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The question presented in this case is whether a municipal ordinance requiring advance notice to be given to the local police department by "[a]ny person desiring to canvass, solicit or call from house to house . . . for a recognized charitable cause . . . or . . . political campaign or cause . . . in writing, for identification only" violates the guarantees of freedom of speech and due process of law embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment.

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We granted certiorari to the Appellate Department of the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles to review the petitioner's conviction for violation of California statutes regarding obscenity.

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