that is not publicly available at the Archives. Nor have plaintiffs persuaded the court that defendants need to make efforts to contact additional people (beyond the 630) to see whether all appropriate documents have been gathered.
Plaintiffs have also argued that the National Archives' standard operating procedures for granting public access to documents are deficient. The court rejects this argument; it is important that the integrity and security of these original papers be maintained for all interested members of the public.
Plaintiffs have also questioned whether the President will withdraw public access once this case has been dismissed. The court is satisfied with defendants' assurances in this regard; plaintiffs' concerns appear to be unfounded.
Plaintiffs' suggestion that a declaratory judgment might be appropriate even if the working group has been terminated and all appropriate working group documents have been publicly released is also rejected. At that point, there will simply be no continuing case or controversy for judicial resolution. Nor will there be any basis for injunctive or other equitable relief. The case will in fact be moot, and defendants will be legally entitled to dismissal.
The court understands plaintiffs' frustration with the defendants misconduct during the course of this litigation, and the court intends to impose sanctions here. Sanctions, however, are a collateral matter. The law is clear that the issue of sanctions does not keep a case from being moot. See e.g., Cooter & Gell v. Hartmarx Corp., 496 U.S. 384, 396, 110 L. Ed. 2d 359, 110 S. Ct. 2447 (1990); Lewis v. Continental Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 480, 108 L. Ed. 2d 400, 110 S. Ct. 1249 (1990). If this case is in fact moot, the court has no discretion; the case must be dismissed. The court will then deal with sanctions as a collateral matter.
Since it appears that this case is likely to be dismissed as moot, the court will conduct a scheduling conference in chambers at 2:00 p.m. on December 2, 1994, to be followed by a status conference in open court in order to schedule further proceedings herein.
Royce C. Lamberth
United States District Judge
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