Denver Post v. Ritter

The case of Denver Post v. Ritter was decided on Tuesday by Denver district judge Morris Hoffman.

Gov. Ritter carries a private cell phone with him and sometimes uses it to make calls about government business. The newspaper wanted access to the records of that private cell phone about any calls made on it that had to do with government business.

Judge Hoffman dismissed their lawsuit; the paper is considering an appeal.

This reminds me of a discussion I had with a real live statewide constitutional officer for one of our great 50 states several months ago. We fell into a discussion of public records and email; he said that he tells his staff to text sensitive material rather than send it in an email because public records can’t be used to get text messages.

So, I’d have to say that this judicial ruling sent a bad message; namely, “Want folks not to know about the phone calls you and those lobbyists for (Big Labor/Big Oil; take your pick) are always on? Here’s a tip…run down to U.S. Cellular and buy a private cell phone and make all the calls you don’t want people to know about on that phone.”


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