Former AG McKenna favors constitutional amendment to bar govt-records ‘privilege’

From The Olympian: Former Washington attorney general Rob McKenna says he favors a constitutional amendment as a way to counter last week’s state Supreme Court ruling that upheld a governor’s claim of executive privilege. Former governors Chris Gregoire and Gary Locke had invoked such a privilege claim in refusing to release certain sensitive public records, and Olympia-based Evergreen Freedom Foundation (now The Freedom Foundation) sued to strike down that claim.


Peter Callaghan: A bad open government ruling 14 years in the making

From The News Tribune: I wasn’t as shocked as some last week when the state Supreme Court found that governors have a constitutional exemption from disclosing certain documents to the public.

Since I’d been denied records by a former governor who cited executive privilege, a decision backed up by a past attorney general, I assumed there was a strong likelihood the court would side with those who felt executive privilege existed.


NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for October 18, 2013

From NFOIC:  A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.


Wash. Supreme Court: Governor can claim ‘executive privilege’

From NFOIC: In the ruling that open government groups view as a setback, the Washington state Supreme Court has ruled that constitutional separations of power gives that state's governor an "executive privilege" to withold government documents from disclosure that is broader than what might be recognized under a statutory open government law.


Washington state court upholds fine against governor’s staff in records case

From The Olympian:

The state Court of Appeals has upheld a $2,175 fine against Gov. Chris Gregoire’s staff for illegally withholding a three-page briefing document that Olympia activist Arthur West requested in 2009.

Gregoire initially claimed the record was protected by “executive privilege” – a controversial legal position that is now under legal challenge by open-government advocates in a separate case being heard Thursday in the state Supreme Court.


New Mexico Supreme Court limits executive privilege

From Santa Fe New

The New Mexico Supreme Court this week significantly curtailed the power of state officials to use executive privilege to deny public records requests.


In a 21-page opinion, Justice Patricio Serna wrote that executive privilege only applies to the governor and documents involving advice from the governor’s closest aides. It does not apply to cabinet secretaries and other officials, the court ruled.