Americans should have the right to communicate confidentially with their elected representatives, without fear that their personal concerns and information will be made public. Most state legislatures protect the emails that they receive from their constituents against disclosure to the public. This Indiana Supreme Court decision, entitled Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana v. Koch, set a helpful precedent that the court system should not “make determinations that may interfere with the General Assembly’s exercise of discretion under” the law requiring government agencies to turn over most of their written communications to the public.
This decision by the highest court in Indiana is a refreshing return to the rightful role of the judiciary as the weakest of the three branches of government. The Court concluded that it was a “non-justiciable question” to ask whether legislators should make public the emails that they receive from constituents. The court was right: not every question is appropriate for the court system to resolve. This matter of the privacy of emails is for legislators themselves to decide, and then face the next election based on their decision.
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