Unfortunately, it’s now official. The public’s right to know is not “basic to the maintenance or well-being of the Union.”
On April 25, Maine joined at least 25 other states in making concealed-carry permits confidential governmental records.
The very next day, Gov. Paul LePage signed the controversial Freedom of Access Act exception into law. Concealed-carry permits are now the only state-required, state-issued, state-managed and state-enforced permit issued for personal use in Maine.
Steven Spader, though his court appointed attorneys, argues that state’s own sentencing memorandum, which included psychiatrists’ evaluations and findings and depositions of his mother and father, should be secret. The state filed the memorandum under seal at their request.
The Telegraph of Nashua and the New Hampshire Union Leader filed motions to unseal the documents arguing the public’s right to know outweighs Spader’s right to privacy. His lawyers argued in motions that the memorandum is equivalent to a pre-sentencing investigation, which are sealed. Unsealing the documents, they argue, would make it more difficult for investigators to glean honest and open testimony from defendants and others in future pre-sentencing investigations.
By Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU’s Rhode Island affiliate PROVIDENCE, R.I. — By late June, we should know whether, in an age of the World Wide Web, states can constitutionally get away with closing their borders to the release of information. More than a dozen organizations promoting open government filed a brief this month […]