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Sunday, October 24, 2010

So This Means We Get To See Obama's College And Law School Records, Right?

Right?  I mean, all we now have to do is to run to this Judge in Alaska and point out that if Joe Miller's confidential personnel file from a prior employer needs to be made public because running for Senate is so important, certainly we are entitled to more information about Obama than he tells us in his books, right?

From the Anchorage Daily News, Judge orders Miller documents released:
In an unusual weekend hearing, retired Superior Court Judge Winston Burbank ruled that the public's right to know about candidates outweighed Miller's right to privacy.

"I hold that although Mr. Miller has a legitimate expectation of privacy in those documents, Mr. Miller's right to privacy is indeed outweighed by the public's significant interest in the background of a public figure who is running for the U.S. Senate," the judge said. He noted that U.S. senator is among the highest elected offices in the nation.
This makes perfect sense on the face of it.  Alaska, here we come.

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  1. Answer me this Prof. Jacobson. How does this gentlemen order someone? "... retired Superior Court Judge Winston..."

    The operative word in that sentence being Retired. So if the man is not serving the bench how does he issue anything. Hmmmm?

    Just an inquiring mind kind of thing.

  2. Oh,no. You don't understand. It's only Conservative candidates who need to reveal all. The Leftists are exempt under the assumption of their "good intentions".

  3. Palin vs Barry, 2012. It starts Wednesday, Nov. 3rd.

    Bring it on baby......you betchya!

  4. #1) How the HECK does this judge demand a candidate to provide personal information, but but 13+ lawsuits later, the country isn't allowed to see BarryO's credentials or history?
    #2) Does it on the weekend. This creates a "skulk effect", in a way ADMITTING that there is something off about this ruling by virtue of the fact that it was done at time, and not on Monday. Ballless.

    I'll tell you, I don't get angry much at all anymore, but this made me feel like the top of my head came off. The fact that the President has SO MUCH INFORMATION that he and the DNC spend MILLIONS in legal fees to prevent from coming to light, that for them to turn aro0und and callously force others to do what they don't have the spine to make me SO MAD!!

    This just feels like tyranny, and the political machine needs to be fixed. The people need to see his birth certificate and personal history. Was this planned? Is this to draw out the "birther" element in time for Nov? If I ever needed an excuse to vote for a (R), I have it. Really, I hate the left.

  5. The Judge was appointed to the bench by Lisa Murkowski's father when he was governor. The order is stayed until Tuesday so the case can be appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court.

  6. These records were requested under FOIA. They are government records. You can't get Obama's law school records because private schools aren't subject to FOIA. Shouldn't a law professor know this?

  7. Ditto on the "Retired" question... How is anything he says binding?

  8. Gateway Pundit reported that the judge was appointed by Lisa Murkowski's father, when he was Governor in 2003. Shouldn't he have recused himself to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest?

    (Also note from the original ADN article: A legislative aide to Murkowski attended the court hearing, so it gave it even more of an appearance of a conflict of interest).

  9. I wish I could find the article on google but I've been unsuccessful. Ann Coulter wrote a great article about this - where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy for your personal records, medical records, etc., until you run for office as a Conservative. She also noted how Liberals fight to the death to keep their documents from being opened.

  10. Okay, Robert, how do you REALLY feel? ;)

    But seriously, I agree. "Unusual weekend hearing?" In other words, they just couldn't wait to make a "October Surprise" ruling against a conservative.

    The judges reasoning is asinine. Using his logic, any public figure running for any office has no right to any privacy AT ALL, because just about anything from how they were raised to their sexual practices could be deemed important to knowing about the candidates background.

    Also, I hate how judges lump everyone together as the "public." As a member of the public, I respect Joe Millers privacy and have no desire to peer into what was meant to be a confidential personnel file. Sorry, on that I have no 'significant interest' at all. Speak for yourself, judge.

    Also, can it not be argued that virtually any position in government is high enough to warrant public invasion of their privacy? I mean, cabinet members are not even elected, but it can be argued than often they have just as much, and sometimes more, power than a senator. Heck, a minor bean counter at the CBO can have a massive effect on the country as a whole.

    If even the powerful now have no right to privacy, what chance do we everyday shlubs have of our privacy been defended from now on? Slippery slope, indeed.

  11. Kevin, How about John Kerry's service record? That has never been publicly released, particularly his discharge papers - is that government enough for you?

  12. Hey Kevin, why don't you actually read what you are commenting on smartass? The judge said NOTHING about the FOIA and government versus private. He merely stated that "Mr. Miller's right to privacy is indeed outweighed by the public's significant interest in the background of a public figure who is running for the U.S. Senate."

    If that's the case, doesn't Obamas background at his college and law school constitute something that in the public interest should be made available? After all, he has the highest office in the land and Joe Publics records certainly aren't safe from scrutiny if for example the cops need the info for an investigation.

    Also, colleges get plenty of federal and state funding, so they are hardly "private" institutions anyway.

  13. @Kevin - personnel files would not normally be subject to FOIA, as they are not "public records," as defined under most (if not all) FOIA statutes. The Alaska definition of a "public record" is somewhat unclear on this point (Alaska statutes 40.25.100(3) as the wording seems to indicate agency files kept for a public purpose, not personnel department files.

    So let's agree that personnel files are potentially public records and that if a candidate runs for office, those personnel files become public. Let's start with Obama's state legislature personnel file, Senate personnel file, and of course, executive branch file. Okay? And what about the records of any federal educational guarantees for Obama, which probably contain significant education records? Is that fair game too?

  14. Further to prior comment, Federal FOIA exempts "personnel and medical files and similar
    files the disclosure of which would constitute
    a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy," 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6).

  15. The left seems to have a magic key to open sealed records - personal or otherwise. Barry O waltzed unopposed into his IL state senate seat by getting private divorce records unsealed. I believe he did something similar when he ran for US Senator of IL. If the records are not public, it is for a reason. What is the reason? And, more relevant and germane to your blog post, why is this information on Joe Miller more "relevant" than Obama's records were during the 2008 election?

    Remember "Joe the Plumber"? His personal, private records were viewed then "leaked" to the public almost immediately after the McCain/Obama debate, when McCain mentioned him. That breach of privacy happened without court intervention, and should never have been allowed - oh, and no one was punished over the breach, as I recall. The Dem who breached the records was given a minor reprimand, and it took a law suit to get the breach examined; the Dem operatives involved in the breach later resigned, but the damage was done - i.e. mission accomplished! Records - private, personal records were made public.

    The Democrats and the Left use this tactic on opponents regularly - and, somehow (/sarc), the ruling judges allow opening records - public or private....when the candidate is conservative or has an (R) by his/her name. Are ALL judges leftists?! Or do the Leftist operatives and the press just know how to get the "right" judge to do their bidding (like, for example.....getting a "retired" judge to make a ruling)?

    I say it's time to clean judicial house, too!! Tyranny involves all 3 branches being corrupt, not keeping their end of the balance of powers.

  16. FZ, you clearly have no understanding of how the legal system works. Read the complaint:


    It is made pursuant to the Alaskan Version of FOIA (the Alaska Public Records Act). That statute controls the standard. It only applies to government records. That interest balancing test of public vs. private interest mentioned by the judge IS THE BALANCING TEST UNDER FOIA AS SET OUT BY THE SUPREME COURT. See for example:

    Department of the Air Force v. Rose, 425 U.S. 352, 372 (1976)

    Get a clue.

  17. Valid points Mr. Jacobson. I was only making the point that private entities aren't subject to FOIA requests.

  18. How much does anyone want to bet that the White House forgers are working up a set of transcripts worthy of a Deity?

  19. Still, Kevin, isn't the principle sound? If a politician's records are of such interest, doesn't that justify the insistence that Barry release his school records?

    Turnabout is fair play. And, yes, I know, you were arguing a point of law. I'm taking a more general approach. :)

  20. Oh goody, another day, another politician using a friendly court to issue the Jack Ryan judicial ruling to effectively destroy a political opponent forever to further one's political ambition. Amazingly, it is only applied to Conservatives or Republicans who posed a threat to the political establishment.

  21. DinoRightMarie beat me to it. This is outrageous. Really, a breath-takingly stupid ruling. And if this ruling is allowed to stand, how much effect do you think it might have on people, especially non-professional politicians, running for office? Who will want to run if it means exposing all the private records in your past?

    Oh that's right. It only applies to conservatives.

    Now it makes sense.

    BTW, whatever happened to the all-powerful "right to privacy" that was the basis of an obscure ruling named Roe v. Wade?

  22. All we need to know about BO and his school records is that he never published one paper, ever, anywhere. That he never presented one paper at any conference, ever, anywhere. That he was not tenured, ever, anywhere. He has zero academic credentials; don't you think that he's that suck up kid who hangs around your office (well, you know, if you were a commie nutjob, anyway, so count your stars there) and agrees with everything you say (even when you're just saying you prefer mustard on your sandwich) and parrots you back to you in the feverish hope of getting an A that he doesn't deserve? That's what he reminds me of, and I've met my fair share of such students through the years.


    OK, AKA Obama forget your history after you were ten years old - How about just releasing your public school kindergarten records - Is that too much to ask?