As Congress is pushing for improved cooperation among government entities on public-records requests, Fix the Court executive director Gabe Roth says the the Supreme Court should be included in the effort:
If Congress were serious about reforming the Freedom of Information Act, it would not only include itself, as the While House suggests, and a broader group of intelligence agencies, as open government advocates propose, it would also include the U.S. Supreme Court, which is currently exempt from FOIA.
The public should know, for example, why the justices choose to sit out cases from time to time, when they buy or sell the stocks of companies with cases before them and who pays for the justices’ frequent travel.
On the other hand, the nine have every reason to keep drafts of their opinions and related internal information private. As it is with the Oval Office and the NSA, though, merely the potential for redaction does not make an effort toward greater openness futile.
Improving government transparency is a worthy goal, and as such should include all three branches.