The Supreme Court’s ruling last week that states can limit freedom of information act requests to residents of those states is troubling. According to the decision, the Privileges and Immunities clause of the Constitution doesn't apply because the public's right to access public information is not as “fundamental” a right of citizenship as is, say, access to courts. In the oral arguments, Alito immediately challenged the plaintiff’s counsel to explain why any law passed as recently as the 1960s establishes meaningful rights. Later in the arguments, Virginia’s counsel called the passage of FOIA laws a “fad.”
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