Sunday, June 13, 2004

Kast said he was merely following the law, which allows only politicians, political action committees, political parties and government officials to obtain copies. Anyone else can view the list, but cannot make copies or take notes while doing so.
Thomas argued that lawmakers failed to follow a constitutional mandate that requires them to state a specific reason when they pass laws closing public records.
But Joseph Klock, an attorney for the state, said there is no constitutional conflict. Lawmakers weren't creating a public records exemption when they passed the election reforms package, Klock insisted, because the public is still able to view the records, even though it can't make copies of them.
And the law follows the constitutional provision that gives everyone the right to inspect "or" copy public documents, Klock said. He pointed out that the provision does not say inspect "and" copy them.
"People were presumably smart enough to know what they meant by 'or' or 'and,' " when they voted on the constitutional amendment in 1992, Klock said.
[Judge] Clark appeared to agree.
"I can't add words to the constitution," Clark told Thomas.

The Palm Beach Post


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