News about BLOWBACK BLOWBACK Music Downloads BLOWBACK Lyrics BLOWBACK VIDEO Band Bio Concert Listings Band Photos Press Clippings Activism Links Contact Us



Historians and public interest groups filed a lawsuit [November 28] asking a federal judge to strike down an executive order signed by President Bush that restricts access to presidential records, arguing that the action illegally promotes secrecy. The suit filed in U.S. District Court here accuses the Bush administration of violating the 1978 Presidential Records Act, maintaining the law was meant to limit presidential control over records and promote public access to papers and other materials after presidents leave office… Under Bush's order, a former president or a sitting president -- or in some cases, the family of a deceased or disabled president -- could block the release of records requested by individuals and force them to go to court to challenge the decisions.

Scott L. Nelson, a lawyer for the Public Citizen Litigation Group, said the order could prevent or delay the release of important materials, including 68,000 pages of records of former president Ronald Reagan that historians hoped to obtain earlier this year. He said records could remain off limits even if the privileges raised were unfounded. The lawsuit… also seeks a court order requiring the release of the Reagan-era papers.   Nelson said the executive order also gave former vice presidents additional control over their records and noted that Bush's father, former president George Bush, could be the first to benefit because scholars want his papers from the Reagan administration, when he was vice president.

-- Bill Miller, Washington Post Staff Writer, in "Records Order Spurs Lawsuit: Groups Oppose Bush Limit on Access to Presidential Papers," The Washington Post, Thursday, November 29, 2001; Page A31 © 2001