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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bellingham Herald Editorial on Legislative Priorities--Including Overturning Soter

This Bellingham Herald editorial urges the Legislature to focus on key issues and adds:

"We also hope that legislators quickly react to a recent court decision [Soter] that could significantly damage citizens' rights to access public documents. The state Supreme Court recently gave governments broad rights to withhold documents citing the potential for 'attorney-client privilege.' Under the court’s interpretation, governments could withhold documents from citizens just in case the documents may be part of court proceedings in the future. The Legislature must undo this horrible move toward secrecy immediately. Our state must not move toward secrecy over public access. If governments no longer have to answer to citizens, our state is in serious danger of ethics violations, malfeasance and mistreatment of citizens by the people who work for them."