State Supreme Court Rules Gov. Inslee Can Withhold Information, Communications From Public
A new ruling means Gov. Jay Inslee won't have to release documents or disclose details about how he decides upon his policies.
The State Supreme Court ruled 8-1 the governor can withhold any and all information from the public, including communications between him and his advisers.
Here's what's included, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal:
If Gov. Jay Inslee wants to withhold documents from the public about how he came to policy decisions — on anything from water quality regulations, to religious hospital mergers, to union negotiations — he now has the right to do that, as do all future Washington state governors."
Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center says Inslee has now created a "Nixon-style" privilege. Prior to this ruling, the presumption was any and all communications could be released to the public.
This decision gives the governor the right to permanently seal records from EVER being seen.
Again from the Puget Sound Business Journal:
The governor’s office will be strongly tempted to apply this very broadly, and it will become much more difficult for people to understand the decisions the governor makes or hold the governor accountable,” said Toby Nixon, president of the nonprofit Washington Coalition for Open Government."