First Amendment expert named to Florida legislative panel on transparency

From The Florida Senate:  Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) today announced the appointment of Barbara A. Petersen, President of Florida’s First Amendment Foundation, to a legislative panel that will evaluate and recommend how to provide better public access to state financial records and contracts.

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S.C. Supreme Court rules public bodies cannot say FOIA hurts speech

From Miami Herald:  Public bodies in South Carolina cannot use the Freedom of Information Act to justify decisions not to release records or hold open meetings, the state's highest court ruled Wednesday.

In a 3-2 decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that a circuit judge should not have allowed the South Carolina Association of School Administrators to argue that open records requirements harmed its members' free speech rights.

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Can public business ever be ‘private’ conversation?

By Gene Policinski, senior vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center, via Pocono Record:

The First Amendment protects our free speech from government control, punishment or interference — but when public officials speak freely through private e-mail accounts or mobile phones, are they free to ignore freedom of information laws?

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