In a case that may have implications for the media, the Supreme Court has agreed to decide when the government must release sensitive or gruesome law enforcement records.
The government had asked the court to back its decision to withhold post-mortem pictures of White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster, who committed suicide in 1993.
The high court must balance the privacy interest of Foster’s family with the rights of others who sued to get the photographs under a public records law.
In another case, the high court said it will give police clearer rules for using random roadblocks to track down criminals without violating the privacy rights of other motorists.
The court will hear arguments next fall on whether police can set up checkpoints to seek information about a recent crime, then arrest drivers for unrelated wrongdoing.
The case is based on a 1997 police roadblock in suburban Chicago during an investigation of a hit-and-run fatality. A citizen arrested for drunken driving as a result of the roadblock challenged its constitutionality.