Here is how Judge Brett Kavanaugh summarized his decision for the court:
The Government charges fees to process FOIA requests. Those fees can be significant – in this case about $900 – and can deter or prevent citizens from making FOIA requests.By statute, educational institutions are eligible for reduced fees when they make FOIA requests. The Government has long determined that teachers who make FOIA requests are eligible for those reduced fees because teachers are part of an educational institution. But at the same time, the Government has determined that students who make FOIA requests are not eligible for those reduced fees because they are supposedly not part of an educational institution.We disagree with the Government’s slicing of the term “educational institution.” If teachers can qualify for reduced fees, so can students. Students who make FOIA requests to further their coursework or other school-sponsored activities are eligible for reduced fees under FOIA because students, like teachers, are part of an educational institution. The student involved in this case, Kathryn Sack, therefore is eligible for reduced fees for her FOIA requests. We reverse the contrary judgment of the District Court on that question, and affirm in all other respects.