High court to consider Va. limits on public records

Friday, October 5, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will decide whether Virginia can keep out-of-staters from using its Freedom of Information Act law to get government documents.

The high court agreed today to hear an appeal from Mark J. McBurney of Rhode Island and Roger W. Hurlbert of California. They tried to use the Virginia law to request documents from state officials, but were both denied because they are not Virginia citizens.

The Virginia law limits access to state citizens and some news-media outlets. The two men say it is unconstitutional not to allow everyone use of a state’s FOIA law.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, saying the state law’s limitations were legal.

Also see: Can states limit public records to residents?

Tags: , , , ,