Freedom of Information Act / FOIA

‘Go pound sand, POTUS.’

Is it the law that the state of Virginia cannot do anything that’s pointless? Only the federal government can do stuff that’s pointless?

– Justice Antonin Scalia, commenting during oral arguments in McBurney v. Young on a Virginia FOIA law that favors requests from state residents.

There’s an interesting article on the Freedom of Information Act in today’s Los Angeles Times. Here’s an excerpt, which powerfully illustrates the importance of FOIA to our democracy:

A list of Freedom of Information Act requests that have been completed by the archives staff includes one for a photo of Bill Clinton jogging with a “Yale Whiffenpoof Club insignia” on his clothing, another for various files on UFOs and flying saucers, and one for the full name of the pastry chef who made a birthday cake for Chelsea Clinton.

Monica Lewinsky Monica S Lewinsky Monica Lewinsky Monica Samille Lewinsky.JPGYou mean the one that Monica Lewinsky jumped out of?
(On a serious note, we do not mean to diminish the importance of FOIA — which has been described as “a journalist’s best friend, and a blogger’s, too.”)
Clinton’s first-lady records locked up [Los Angeles Times]
What Bloggers Can Learn From Journalists [Poynter Online]