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43 Brandeis L.J. 667 (2004-2005)
Access Denied: How State Laws Limiting Access to Government Reports Result in an Unfair Restriction on Commercial Speech

handle is hein.journals/branlaj43 and id is 677 raw text is: ACCESS DENIED: HOW STATE LAWS LIMITING
ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT REPORTS RESULT IN
AN UNFAIR RESTRICTION ON COMMERCIAL
SPEECH
Sarah Coker*
I. INTRODUCTION
Americans worry about privacy. Whether it is concern about Peeping
Toms or the availability of social security numbers, people want to be certain
that access to their private lives is tightly controlled. This concern has not gone
unnoticed by state legislatures. California, Florida, and Kentucky have all
taken steps to control access to specific government reports.' Recent revisions
to Kentucky and Florida law now restrict who may view automobile accident
reports.2 California revised its law to control who may view arrest records.'
Challenges to Kentucky and California law quickly followed,4 and Florida does
not appear to be far behind.5
Changes to state laws and the effects of the changes on access to
information are the focus of this Note, particularly the changes in Kentucky and
California. While the legislation appears to affect only those people and
businesses that use the information for commercial purposes, the potential
ramifications of limiting access to public records are far-reaching. State
legislatures have the power to expand the categories of documents the public
can no longer view simply by citing vague concerns about privacy. Further,
J.D. expected May 2005.
See CAL. GOV'T CODE § 6254(0(3) (West 2004); FLA. STAT. ANN. § 316.066(3)(c) (West
2001); Ky. REV. STAT. ANN. § 189.635(5)(Michie 2003).
2 FLA. STAT. ANN. § 316.066(3)(c) (West 2001); KY. REV. STAT. ANN. § 189.635(5)
(Michie 2003).
3 CAL. GoV'T CODE § 6254(0(3) (West 2004).
4 See Amelkin v. McClure, 330 F.3d 822 (6th Cir. 2003); and L.A. Police Dep't v. United
Reporting Publ'g Corp., 528 U.S. 32 (1999).
5 Mark K. Delegal & Allison P. Pittman, Article, Florida No-Fault Insurance Reform: A
Step in the Right Direction, 29 FLA. ST. U. L. REV. 1032 (2002) (discussing how Florida's
imposition of a penalty for access to the records makes it ripe for a challenge).

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