Pence Goes to Court to Protect Emails

Some legal experts are calling attempt to shield email a 'dangerous precedent'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2016 2:03 PM CST
Pence Goes to Court to Protect Emails
Vice President-elect Mike Pence participates in a cabinet meeting in Indianapolis on Monday.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(Newser) – In November 2014, when President Obama announced his plan to remedy American's "broken immigration system"—including deferring deportation for illegal immigrants who had been in the US for a certain amount of time or who had children born in this country—not everyone was happy about it. Among them: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who called it a "profound mistake" and joined a Texas lawsuit against the president's mandate, reports the Indianapolis Star. Now (in what some political observers are calling an "ironic" development after the ongoing Hillary Clinton email commotion, per the Hill), Pence is trying to keep under wraps an email related to that lawsuit, sent from his office to a law firm, that a Democratic attorney claims could show "a waste of taxpayer dollars."

"The people have the right to know how much of their money was spent [for Indiana to join the suit]," says Indy attorney William Groth, who's appealing a Marion County Superior Court decision in April that ruled redactions to the public record in question weren't for the court to decide on, citing a "separation of powers." But some are calling it a "dangerous precedent": Gerry Lanosga, a media professor at Indiana University, tells the Star that "the court is giving up its ability to check another branch of government, and that should worry people," while a former prof Paul Jefferson notes that if the appeals court rules for Pence, it "would severely limit the Access to Public Records Act." "It shows no accountability that an agency can say things are exempt just because and citizens have no recourse," Lanosga adds. The Indiana Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments in the case next Monday, per Politico. (Read more Mike Pence stories.)

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