As was reported last week in the Mirror, the Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that some internal court records are not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. By blocking FOIA requests, the Attorney General and the Governor can effectively hide their backroom dealings from the public.
The new rules bar the public from seeing records such as written personnel communications and documents used to create court orders.
Democratic Del. Mike Mullin says he’s concerned the ruling hides court finance and administration information. The court says the ruling is meant to protect the separation of the state’s judicial and legislative branches.
Legislation passed in 2018 required the state agency that oversees the courts to create a database listing what information is public. That legislation confirmed that the public is allowed to see general district court records. State law already said higher court records are supposed to be publicly available.