By Douglas Soule
Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to invoke “executive privilege” to conceal records from public view.
Open records advocates and media groups say how an appeals court rules on that could dramatically affect the public’s ability to get information in Florida, a state long known for transparent records laws.
DeSantis’ interpretation “runs afoul of the virtually unfettered right of access and serves no public purpose,” wrote organizations including the Florida Center for Government Accountability and the League of Women Voters of Florida in a friend-of-the-court brief. “In the 178 years that Florida has existed, not a single court decision has recognized the existence of any executive privilege.”
Not a single court decision, at least, until January 2023, when a Leon County circuit judge sided with DeSantis in a public records case.