First Amendment Clinic authors amicus brief arguing against judicial narrowing of a Georgia sunshine law

Monday, December 21, 2020

The First Amendment Clinic authored an amicus brief filed in the Georgia Court of Appeals that challenges a lower court’s decision to weaken Georgia’s sunshine laws. Writing in the case of Love v. Atlanta Falcons Stadium Company, LLC on behalf of fellow amici - the Georgia Press Association and the Georgia First Amendment Foundation - the clinic's brief addressed whether documents relating to a government-contracted, tax-funded construction project are publicly obtainable under Georgia’s Open Records Act. The clinic argues the documents are clearly “public records” under both a plain-language reading of the act and a prior ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court. The brief notes that “[i]f allowed to stand, the trial court’s interpretation ... creates a gaping loop hole in the [Act] whereby a government agency may avoid public records scrutiny by delegating to a private entity any number of services or functions that the agency would otherwise have performed itself.”

Third-year student Nneka I. Ewulonu co-authored the brief with clinic Director Clare R. Norins.