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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cutting Off Rights to Records for "Vexatious Requesters"

Frustrated after receiving repeated requests for President Obama's birth certificate, the Hawaii House Judiciary Committee heard a bill permitting government officials to ignore so-called "birthers" who won't give up the claim that Obama is ineligible to serve as president because he doesn't meet constitutional requirements.

If the measure passes, the state Office of Information Practices could deem an individual a "vexatious requester" and restrict rights to government records for two years.

The Associated Press reports Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R-Kaneohe-Kailua) questioned, "Do we really want to be known internationally as the Legislature that blocked any inquiries into where President Obama was born?"

Attorney Peter Fritz suggested the state simply respond that it would only answer each person's request once, instead of passing a law to punish repetitive requests for open records.

Read more about SB2937 here.

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