FEDERAL JUDGES GIVE IN TO APBnews.com

By: Staff Reports

Financial Disclosure Forms Can Go Online



The Judicial Conference, chaired by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist,
yesterday overturned an earlier committee ruling that prevented APBnews.com from posting
the financial disclosure reports of federal judges online, the New York-based crime site
reports.


After its annual meeting yesterday, the group of federal judges announced it will not
withhold financial data from the Internet that otherwise appears in traditional media such as
newspapers and magazines. APBnews.com had filed suit in federal court to get access to the
financial disclosure reports that provide annual listings of federal judges’ family assets,
loans, and gifts.



‘This is a victory for the online public,’ Mark Sauter, COO of APBnews.com, said in a story on
his site.



Since 1979, any member of the public can request access to these financial statements. The law
was passed to assure federal judges avoided conflicts of interest.


APBnews.com filed its lawsuit three months ago and since then Spokane.net is the only news site
to post the financial reports of six federal judges serving that area in Washington state. Prior
to the lawsuit, The Kansas City Star and WNBC-TV in New York posted judges’ financial disclosures
on their Web sites. And USA Today’s request for the documents was granted, though the paper never
published them.



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Staff reports



Related story:

SPOKESMAN-REVIEW POSTS SIX JUDGES’ FINANCIAL REPORTS (03/07/00)

(http://www.mediainfo.com/ephome/news/newshtm/stories/030700n1.htm)











(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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