A Clinton Records DisputeCharles Davis
February 1, 2008 — 1,185 views
The National Archives wants a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit seeking quick access to records about a health care task force Hillary Rodham Clinton headed as first lady, or delay the release for about a year.
Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest group, has complained in a lawsuit that the National Archives isn't moving fast enough on its April 2006 request to see the documents. The archives says Judicial Watch is trying to jump ahead of those who made earlier requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
"(The National Archives) does not believe that Judicial Watch or any other requester should receive more favorable treatment outside of our existing queue system," said Miriam Kleiman, a spokeswoman for the archives. "We have therefore asked the court to leave Judicial Watch's FOIA request in its proper place by dismissing or postponing any ruling in the case."
The documents are at the Clinton presidential library in Little Rock, which the archives operates. A year's delay would keep the documents from public view until after the Nov. 4 presidential election.
Charles N. Davis is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and the executive director for the National Freedom of Information Coalition, headquartered at the School. Davis' scholarly research focuses on access to governmental information and new media law, including jurisdictional issues, intellectual property and online libel. He has earned a Sunshine Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his work in furthering freedom of information and the University of Missouri-Columbia Provost's Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching, as well as the Faculty-Alumni Award.