WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that it’s legal for a state to limit use of its Freedom of Information Act to its own residents.
The court unanimously upheld a federal appeals court decision validating Virginia’s limitation of its FOIA law to state citizens and some media outlets.
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In the case before the court, Rhode Island resident Mark J. McBurney and California resident Roger W. Hurlbert were suing Virginia for blocking them from getting public documents in Virginia that in-state citizens could have easily obtained. Virginia’s FOIA law limits access to state citizens and some media outlets.
McBurney and Hurlbert, along with data and media companies, challenged the state FOIA law under the Constitution’s Privileges and Immunities Clause — which prohibits states from discriminating against out-of-staters in favor of its own citizens — and the Commerce Clause, which prohibits discrimination against interstate commerce. Hurlbert owns Sage Information Services, which obtains public real estate assessments for private clients. McBurney, a former Virginia resident, wanted to get documents from a Virginia child welfare agency involving a child support petition from his divorce from his wife.
Read More at OfficialWire . By Jesse J. Holland.
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Photo Credit: kenudigit Creative Commons
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