A bipartisan team of senior U.S. Senators has introduced legislation to clarify important sections of the Freedom of Information Act and codify a presumption of disclosure for commercial records.
Last Monday, the Supreme Court prevented release of government spending data to a South Dakota newspaper, handing down a ruling that is expected to limit the public’s understanding of how tax dollars are spent in the private sector.
At least 29 states post Statements of Financial Interest online, making it easy to peruse your local official’s financial ties. But under the Massachusetts Financial Disclosure Law, those wanting to get a closer look at their lawmaker’s finances have to be okay with not only showing some identification, but having their name shared with the official in question.
As part of a recent push to clear their FOIA backlog, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has released 30 pages of new documents on Senator James Eastland, adding to the 521 previously released pages. Among the new documents is a remarkable one-page memo suggesting that Eastland’s public assertion about “Red spy rings” were the result of the Senator confusing New York Times reporters with spies.
Earlier this week, we wrote about Brett Kavanaugh’s renewed Federal Bureau of Investigation background check and predicted that while the full investigation wouldn’t be public for years, likely some summary would be released. In light of reporting that the results of the background check will only be available to the Sentate Judiciary Committee, we wanted to address one of the lesser-known aspects of Freedom of Information Act: the broad exemption of the legislature.