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Open & Shut

A collection of notable quotations From the Fall 2009 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 28. “Then…

A collection of notable quotations

From the Fall 2009 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 28.

“Then what about people who — who like to see human sacrifices? Suppose that’s legally taking place somewhere in the world. I mean, people here would probably love to see it. Live, pay per view, you know, on the human sacrifice channel. They have a point of view they want to express. That’s okay?”

— Justice Antonin Scalia asked Patricia Millett, the attorney for a man who made dog fighting videos , during oral arguments in U.S. v. Stevens in October.

“The hypothetical is we can’t do anything about it. It is beyond our reach to stop human sacrifice taking place wherever in the world . . . in that situation you think it’s unconstitutional for Congress to pass a law saying there can be no human sacrifice channel?”

— Chief Justice John Roberts, continuing Justice Scalia’s line of questioning of Patricia Millett in U.S. v. Stevens.

“The key thing to understand when you look at [open records] statutes is that there’s no enforcement of it, and there’s not a great deal of oversight . . . basically every state agency in all three branches is allowed to do largely what they want to.”

— Peter Gottlieb, chairman of the Wisconsin Public Records Board.

“Our advice to an agency is when you may keep something confidential, that doesn’t mean you have to keep something confidential. It may be in the public interest to allow that information to be made available.”

¬— Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson on why even if officials believe the law is on their side in not releasing the information, they should consider whether it serves the public good.

“We have a blanket policy to use the exemption in all cases, I can’t think of a single example where we wouldn’t use the exemption.”

— Jody Donaldson, a spokesman for the Alexandria Police Department, on why the department denied a request for the incident report of an Alexandria police chief who was arrested for drunk driving. The department instead offered a two paragraph summary for $24.