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Posts tagged "Commerce Clause"

"Citizen-Only" FOIA Statutes Are Constitutional

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has held that state Freedom of Information Acts that only allow state citizens to obtain documents through the acts violate neither the federal Privileges and Immunities Clause nor the dormant Commerce Clause.  Two plaintiffs who were citizens of states other than Virginia (one was a Rhode Island attorney), brought suit against Virginia when their FOIA requests were denied because they were not citizens of the Old Dominion.  The Court said that the Privileges and Immunities Clause does not require states to apply all its laws equally to citizens and non-citizens.  Rather, the P&I Clause applies only to privileges and immunities that are "fundamental," such as the opportunity to pursue a common calling, the ability to own and transfer property , access to state courts and access to public information.