Last night, January 30, Judge Schreier issued a stay of her order in the Argus Leader Media vs USDA lawsuit. You will recall that the Argus Leader newspaper in South Dakota had sued USDA for SNAP retailer redemption data by location. NGA has long fought the release of this data arguing retailer sales data is proprietary and confidential information and should be exempt from any FIOA request.
Late Friday (January 27) night a motion to intervene in the case was filed by FMI. As you will recall, NGA has been very involved in this case from the beginning and supported the legal recommendation of our counsel and others to have FMI file the motion to intervene given NGA’s involvement in the case, including testifying at the trial. We all thought this would likely be our best shot at success. NGA filed an affidavit in support of the motion as did another NGA member and a number of other retailers. The judge grated the motion last night which gives FMI 15 days to file an appeal.
Because of the Court’s action no retailer information will be released today by USDA as had been previously planned.