In a political climate dominated by fake news and “alternative facts,” a strong public records law is more important than ever before. On February 6, David Milton will argue our public records case in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The Court’s decision will have tremendous impact on civilians’ ability to request information from governmental agencies in Massachusetts.
We represent the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which requested public records from the state Department of Agricultural Resources in 2014. The Department denied the request under a too-broad interpretation of the public safety exemption. We filed a lawsuit, and a Superior Court judge sided with the Department. We appealed that decision, and now the highest court in Massachusetts has chosen to hear this case. We highly recommend this article by Andrew Quemere, which explains the legal arguments in detail.