Clinton Administration Blockades Public Access to Computerized Court Decisions

From: GovAccess.229 INFORMATION POLICY NOTES December 22, 1995 Crown Jewels Campaign - FLITE Supreme Court Decisions - TAP asks Clinton Administration to release to public an Air Force database (FLITE) that contains the full text of all U.S. Supreme Court decisions since 1937. The database does not include copyrighted materials, and was developed at taxpayer expense. - Clinton Administration claims it does not have to release the records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), because they are "library" materials. - West Publishing has lobbied the Clinton Administration against public disclosure of FLITE Supreme Court opinions. - Interesting lobbying fact. In 1994, West Publishing President Vance Opperman donated $65,000 to two committees of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Following the November 1994 election, the Opperman family (Vance, his father Dwight, and Darin and Jane Opperman) has stepped up contributions to a number of republican candidates (including the presidential campaigns of Dole, Alexander and Lugar). On February 22, 1995, West Publishing gave $15,000 in "soft money" to the National Republican Congressional Committee. < ... > James Love (, 202/387-8030)