Government Declines to Appeal Ruling Opening Up Presidential RecordsBreaking News
On October 1, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly gave historians and researchers a partial, but significant victory in a lawsuit questioning the legality of the Executive Order. The judge struck down the section of the EO that allows a former president to indefinitely delay the release of their records.
However, Judge Kollar-Kotelly did not rule on the constitutionality of the Executive Order itself, narrowly crafting her decision to address only the specific provision in the order dealing with former presidents. She declined to rule on the legality of the sections of the Executive Order allowing heirs and designees of former presidents, and former vice presidents, the authority to control the release of documents, calling them “unripe” since no records have yet been withheld pursuant to those provisions. However, the judge left open the right for the plaintiffs to challenge these provisions in the future if the release of records were denied as a result of them.
The lawsuit was brought by Public Citizen soon after the Executive Order was issued in 2001 on behalf of itself, the American Historical Association (AHA), the National Security Archive, the Organization of American Historians (OAH), the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the American Political Science Association (APSA) and historian Stanley Kutler.
Legislation (H.R. 1255) to overturn Executive Order 13233 overwhelmingly passed the House by a vote of 333-93 in March. At the time the legislation was considered in the House, the Bush administration issued a threat to veto the bill, but it passed the House by a veto-proof margin. Similar legislation cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee by voice vote this summer. However, when the Democratic leadership sought to bring the bill to the floor on September 29, Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) objected to consideration of the bill and it remains tied up in the Senate.
comments powered by Disqus
- The Debt Ceiling Law is now a Tool of Partisan Political Power; Abolish It
- Amitai Etzioni, Theorist of Communitarianism, Dies at 94
- Kagan, Sotomayor Join SCOTUS Cons in Sticking it to Unions
- New Evidence: Rehnquist Pretty Much OK with Plessy v. Ferguson
- Ohio Unions Link Academic Freedom and the Freedom to Strike
- First Round of Obama Administration Oral Histories Focus on Political Fault Lines and Policy Tradeoffs
- The Tulsa Race Massacre was an Attack on Black People; Rebuilding Policies were an Attack on Black Wealth
- British Universities are Researching Ties to Slavery. Conservative Alumni Say "Enough"
- Martha Hodes Reconstructs Her Memory of a 1970 Hijacking
- Jeremi Suri: Texas Higher Ed Conflict "Doesn't Have to Be This Way"
- New transcript of Ayn Rand at West Point in 1974 shows she claimed “savage" Indians had no right to live here just because they were born here
- The Mexican War Suggests Ukraine May End Up Conceding Crimea. World War I Suggests the Price May Be Tragic if it Doesn't
- The Vietnam War Crimes You Never Heard Of