A lawsuit seeking public records? No: A government lawsuit against someone seeking public records!


Doug CliftonBy Doug Clifton

The Concord Monitor reports, by way of the Arizona AP, one of the more egregious stories in the open government wars. It seems that a pair of citizens in Congress, Arizona are deeply interested in the workings of the school board. They express that interest by asking for documents – unambiguously public records – on a fairly regular basis. The school board is annoyed. So it has done what any self-protecting bureaucrat would do in a similar situation – it denied their requests and sued the citizens. If that weren’t so outrageous it would be funny. It’s supposed to work this way: Citizens sue the government for refusing to turn over records, the government isn’t supposed to sue the citizens for asking. If word of this novel approach gets too much circulation in New England, look for a spate of copycat deniers to pop up with the spring tulips.


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