Right to Know gets day in Court: The Movie

by Doug

movie projector

Regular readers might recall that on March 20th, we had our day at the Supreme Court for oral arguments in our ongoing Right to Know lawsuit against the Belknap County Convention et al.

Tom argued that the Belknap County Convention unlawfully met behind closed doors and a county employee unlawfully refused to produce documents to which we were entitled per NH’s Right-to-Know laws. Our problem involves the procedure by which they appointed a new Sheriff to replace the resigned previous occupant, duly elected by the voters of Belknap County. We contend that it must be open and transparent, as it involves a Constitutional officer, and they contend the position is that of an employee, entitled to the privacy privileges granted in 91-A provisions. [Read the detail as submitted in our brief here and more follow-up here.]

Following the session, I wrote that

In my opinion, the Honorable Supreme Court Justices seemed to have a full grasp of the importance of openness in government, noting it has a duty to choose more, not less whenever possible. While Tom answered their questions based on the foundation of our case, the opposing attorney representing the County Convention ALSO seemingly answered the Justices’ pointed questions based on the foundation of our case. Like a cat batting around a ball of yarn, the four Justices of the Supreme Court asked question after question of our opponent, to which he really had no good answers. When he did, he basically affirmated OUR points…

You don’t have to just take my word for it, as you can now watch the proceedings for yourself by clicking here for the video (or here for audio only). This service and use of technology is much appreciated!

Tell us what you think in the comments box below.


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  • Does it take a while to load?
    I blogged you guys yesterday:
    “KingCast is hardly the only video blogger in New Hampshire dedicated to Open Government. Witness my buddy Doug over at Granitegrok’s Oral Argument from 20 March, 2008. We’re riding the wave of technology for the people and New Hampshire government had best get ready for more of the same in the coming years.”
    I’ll keep trying. I’ve got a new MacBook with FIOS so it should be all good.
    Keep up the Good Work. I’m definitely bummed in some ways that the State didn’t appeal in KingCast v. Ayotte; I wanted to take it there, totally. But this way we actually get the documents sooner and that’s the bottom line.

  • The slowness is apparently due to the limitations of the NH SupCo server. I will try to get a file copy and feed off the ‘Grok server– a veritable powerhouse!

  • I really knew that day. Actually, I really wanted to come straight to watch this trial. And I agree with you. In my opinion, the Honorable Supreme Court Justices seemed to have a full grasp of the importance of openness in government. Whether this delay was due to NH SupCo server? Is that true?

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