Public access to law is a principle that has thrived for centuries. Without it, citizens would be powerless to navigate everyday interactions with their governments. Unfortunately, the scope of “law” has expanded rapidly and public access is struggling to keep up.
Laws passed by Congress and State legislatures are not the only documents that have the power of law. Technical standards, secret court opinions, municipal regulations, international trade documents, and more impact every American. Yet, they are often nearly impossible, if not illegal, for the public to access.
The Advisory Committee on Transparency is excited to host a conversation exploring these “secret laws” and discussing ways to boost the public's ability to access and understand them.
V. David Zvenyach, General Counsel, Council of the District of Columbia Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel and Policy Adviser, American Civil Liberties Union Patrice McDermott, Executive Director, OpenTheGovernment.org Daniel Schuman, Policy Director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Moderator: Matt Rumsey, the Sunlight Foundation