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.


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.



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?