Monday, August 31, 2009

Democracy in trouble alert -- seriously

Here's an amazing and frightening New York Times story about how news organizations (primarily newspapers traditionally) are cutting back on their spending to fund cases to keep courts open to the public.

Some highlights:

• The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups have taken the leading role in trying to shake loose information about the Bush administration’s policies and actions.

• As part of the settlement in a case involving Amtrak, the parties asked Judge Lawrence F. Stengel of Federal District Court in Philadelphia to “direct LexisNexis and Westlaw to remove the decisions” from “their respective legal research services/databases.”

The judge agreed, and the database companies complied.

Westlaw spokesman John Shaughnessy, which is owned by ThomsonReuters, said that the record's case number will exist and a note indicating that the judge ordered the record deleted will remain. WTF??? Noting the existence of censorship is still censorship.

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