Monday, December 17, 2007

Court Strikes a Blow Against Excessive Secrecy

And it'll be hard for the right wing noise machine to claim the presiding judge is judicial activist this time. Why? Because in order to do that they'd first have to admit that Reagan was wrong.

From the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House visitor logs are public documents, a federal judge ruled Monday, rejecting a legal strategy that the Bush administration had hoped would get around public records laws and let them keep their guests a secret.

The ruling is a blow to the Bush administration, which has fought the release of records showing visits by prominent religious conservatives.

Visitor records are created by the Secret Service, which is subject to the Freedom of Information Act. But the Bush administration has ordered the data turned over to the White House, where they are treated as presidential records outside the scope of the public records law.

But U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled logs from the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's residence remain Secret Service documents and are subject to public records requests.

Lamberth, who served in the Justice Department before President Reagan put him on the federal bench, has roiled Democratic and Republican administrations alike with rulings rejecting government secrecy claims.

Occasionally one runs across a public figure that we really need to clone and Judge Royce C. Lamberth seems to fit that bill. I've only said that about one other person and that was former congressman Pete McCloskey. Since it appears that once a year I become aware of people whose actions for the American people merit that their value to this country warrants that a copy of them be made I hereby create the Meritorious Cloning Award and bestow it upon them both. The winners of said award will receive a certificate of merit, a cotton swab, a small plastic bag, a set of instructions, and a prepaid return envelope.

H/T to Done With Mirrors