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Sally Katzen and US Supreme Court Decisions in Air Force Database

  INFO-POLICY-NOTES / available from listproc@tap.org
  July 26, 1996
  Re:  FLITE - Supreme Court Decisions
  Summary:  For nearly eight months, Sally Katzen has refused to set
            a meeting on public access to 60 years of U.S. Supreme 
            Court Decisions in the possession of the U.S. Air Force. 
  In December 1995, we asked Sally Katzen to meet with us to discuss the Air
  Force's refusal to release 60 years of U.S.  Supreme Court decisions that
  are used by the Air Force online "FLITE" program, which was the nation's
  first computer assisted legal research tool. (It began operation in 1963). 
  Sally Katzen is the Administrator of OMB's Office of Information and
  Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), and the Clinton Administration's chief policy
  maker for FOIA, privacy, and government information issues.  The Air Force
  has refused to release these records under FOIA under a highly dubious
  assertion that "library materials" are not subject to FOIA.  Our critique
  of the Air Force FOIA defense is found in a December 21, 1995 letter to
  Katzen and Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall, at: 
  Two members of Congress, Major Owens (D-NY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT),
  have asked the Air Force to release these records. 
  We have called sent written materials to Ms. Katzen's office repeatedly
  since last December, and have been stonewalled at every turn.  Today we
  were told that Ms. Katzen is leaving for vacation, and will not even
  discuss a date for a meeting until she returns.  At this rate, it is
  unlikely that the Clinton Administration will release these public
  taxpayer funded records to the public before the November 1996 election. 
  Earlier this week, the House of Representatives rejected an effort by West
  Publishing and the Information Industry Association (IIA) to re-write the
  FOIA laws to exempt all "reference" or "library" materials.  But, the
  Clinton Administration still refuses every attempt on our part to even
  meet with top FOIA officials over this important issue. 
  We have made it CRYSTAL CLEAR that we are very unhappy about Ms. Katzen's
  failure to grant a meeting with on this important issue.  The only groups
  which benefit from the government's failure to release copies of U.S.
  Supreme Court Opinions are West Publishing and LEXIS, two foreign owned
  publishing giants. 
  For more information, Ms Katzen's office can be reached at 202-395-4852,
  or by fax at 202-395-3047. 
    jamie love (love@tap.org , 202/387-8030)
  James Love / love@tap.org / P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036
  Voice: 202/387-8030; Fax 202/234-5176
  Center for Study of Responsive Law
     Consumer Project on Technology; http://www.essential.org/cpt
     Taxpayer Assets Project; http://www.tap.org