I applaud the Freedom of Information Coalition for its great efforts in achieving results for Mainers who wish to access information from our government (Maine Compass, Aug. 15). If democracy is to survive, people need to know what their government is doing.

The article stated “lawmakers were not convinced there was a problem.” The coalition showed them there was a problem with many police agencies not abiding by the Freedom of Access laws.

The coalition’s diligent work changed this attitude, and the Legislature did something about it.

I wish it was that simple with our judiciary. Lawmakers and governors (previous and current) seem to have turned a blind eye to the problems of transparency within our judicial system, including the Supreme Court, the Board of Overseers, Committee for Judicial Responsibility and Maine Civil Liberties Union.

The HALT Report (Help Abolish Legal Tyranny, May 2008) ranked Maine 50th in the nation for judicial transparency.

A friend, who is a former attorney and judge, and I have been trying since 2008 to bring this problem to both the Legislature and the Maine news media. No group or individual seem to want to get involved. I would implore the Freedom of Information Coalition and Mal Leary, who wrote this excellent column, to pursue the Maine judiciary with the same effort as expended in the comprehensive audit of police and town officials.

Our judiciary and the MCLU is where the citizens of Maine turn to for justice and redress. If a simple question of openness is ignored, where do these citizens turn for help?

Kevin Morrissey


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