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U.S. Supreme Court Case on Public Records Access and Out-of-State Bias: Professor Bernard Bell Can Discuss the Constitutional Issues

February 12, 2013 – 

On February 20, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for McBurney v. Young. The case deals with the issue of whether a state may prevent citizens of other states from having the same right of access to public records that the state affords its own citizens. The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) restriction is being challenged by a former state resident involved in a child-support case. The decision of the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in McBurney arguably conflicts with a 2006 decision of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Lee v. Minner invalidating the “citizen only” provision of Delaware’s freedom of information act.

PROFESSOR BERNARD W. BELL can discuss the Constitutional issues involved in the case. He teaches courses on constitutional law, privacy law, and mass communications. Professor Bell is a graduate of Stanford Law School and a former clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White. He has served as co-chair of the ABA Administrative & Regulatory Law Section’s Government Information and Right to Privacy Committee and as a consultant to the Administrative Conference of the United States on the Government in the Sunshine Act. Prior to joining the law school, he was a civil litigator with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Professor Bell can be reached at 973-353-5464 or at bbell@kinoy.rutgers.edu.