In This Issue: [click on the link to go to the corresponding section]
The Bill of Rights Defense Committee has launched the People’s Campaign for the Constitution. Individuals and groups are encouraged to organize a campaign in your area to create a broad-based coalition to compel your congressional representatives to meet with you in a public forum and listen to your coalition’s demands for restoring the Constitution’s full promise.
In response to Citizen’s for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)‘s request for a stay pending appeal in CREW vs. the Office of Administration (OA), District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the White House to retain all documents that are the subject of CREW’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and set an expedited briefing schedule on CREW’s motion. You can read about the decision and related news here.
Responding to a petition filed in January by the National Security Archive, Society of American Archivists and several leading U.S. historical associations for the release of grand jury records from the 1951 indictment of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, federal prosecutors in New York last week conceded that a substantial portion of the grand jury materials could be made public after more than 55 years.
On June 26th Representatives Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mark Souder (R-IN), and Oversight Committee Members Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ed Towns (D-NY), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and John Shadegg (R-AZ) introduced H.R. 6411, a companion bill to S.3077, the "Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act" (STAFSA). As described in our June 3rd Policy Update, the legislation upgrades federal data processing and makes it easier for the public to find out how its money is being spent. We continue to urge all OpenTheGovernment.org coalition partners and supporters to keep an eye on this legislation and similar initiatives.
On June 23rd, the Government Accountability Project (GAP), in conjunction with The American University Washington College of Law, hosted a conference on The Emerging Era in Whistleblower Rights and the Public’s Right to Know. Program panelists, who included whistleblower’s advocates, policy makers, and whistlebowers, discussed the current state of law and initiatives in the Executive and Legislative branch that could improve protections for public and private employees who expose waste fraud and abuse. Coleen Rowley and Babak Pasdar were keynote speakers and emphasized the importance of whistleblowers and open government in a democracy.
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