D.C. Federal Judges Play Outsized Role Nationally in FOIA Actions

Federal district judges in Washington are the gatekeepers of government records in high demand. The CIA torture report. Prosecution memos about multibillion-dollar deals with big banks. And, now, Hillary Clinton's emails.

More lawsuits are filed in Washington over access to federal records than in any district court in the country. Nearly half of the 462 cases filed in 2014 under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) were brought in Washington, according to a review of court filings by The National Law Journal. [See Chart.]

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Editorial: Rep. Ballenger made government more open for its citizens

Until his death last week, it had been a while since Cass Ballenger’s name appeared in Gazette headlines.

The ultimate straight-talking politician, Ballenger spent a stretch representing Gaston County in Washington and in that time made plenty of news. He had a way of saying what he thought that left listeners with no doubt about what he meant.

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EDITORIAL: City did the right thing in improving citizen access

We all say we want transparent government, but each legislative session, numerous bills are introduced to limit what you can learn about government operations. Every week, legitimate requests for information are rejected or ignored. Bit by bit, exemption by exemption, governments advocate for less public access, not more.

That’s why it is refreshing to see the Port Townsend City Council (WA) actually making it easier for people to access information and participate in government deliberations.
Jefferson Healthcare Help Wanted

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Port will settle lawsuits with open government advocate

The Port of Olympia commission voted Monday night to move forward with a final settlement agreement covering three lawsuits, two of which were filed against the port nearly eight years ago.

The lawsuits were filed by Arthur West of Olympia, an open government advocate who sued the port twice in 2007 and once in 2012, according to port data.

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