How McBurney V. Young Will Impact State FOIAs

Law360, New York (May 1, 2013, 11:45 AM EDT) -- The United States Supreme Court has permitted the still-uncommon practice of state legislatures to restrict use of their freedom of information laws to citizens of the states. Its April 29, 2013, decision in McBurney v. Young held that Virginia’s citizens-only Freedom of Information Act provision does not abridge fundamental privileges and immunities and does not impermissibly regulate commerce.

We view McBurney as a doctrinal disappointment, but a decision with limited practical impact. Although Virginia is not the only state to limit public-record access by noncitizens, the...
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