Supreme Court To Decide Virginia FOIA Case | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Supreme Court To Decide Virginia FOIA Case

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The question of whether Virginia can keep non-residents from using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain government documents will now be decided by the Supreme Court.

When Rhode Island resident Mark Burney and Roger Hurlburt from California each tried to use Virginia's FOIA law to get documents from state officials, both of their requests were turned down.

That's because neither man is a Virginia citizen and the Commonwealth's law limits FOIA requests to state citizens and some media outlets. The two men filed suit, arguing it's unconstitutional not to allow everyone use of a state's FOIA law.

But that was declined, too with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the state law's limitations are legal.

The Supreme Court has now agreed to hear an appeal with arguments likely to be scheduled in 2013.

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