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On November 21, 1974, Congress amended the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) over the veto of President Ford. The provisions of the Amendments altering the status of national security information generated the greatest controversy and were a major cause of the Ford veto. The provisions require courts for the first time systematically to determine the substantive adequacy of executive classifications.

This Note attempts to resolve some of the ambiguities of 552 (b) (1), the national security exemption of the amended FOIA. It then examines present classification standards to assess whether courts will in fact be able to exercise effective review of classification decisions. Finally, it evaluates the strengths and liabilities of the basic FOIA strategy of using the judiciary to review executive classifications.

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