Public access to the laws of the land is a principle that has thrived for centuries. Without it, citizens would be powerless to navigate everyday interactions with their governments and the “rule of law” could collapse. Unfortunately, the scope of “law” has expanded rapidly and public access is struggling to keep up.
Laws passed by Congress and State legislatures are far from the only documents that have the power of law. Technical standards, secret court opinions, municipal regulations, complex international trade documents, and more touch every American. These are often nearly impossible, and sometimes illegal, for the public to access.
The Advisory Committee on Transparency is excited to host a conversation on Monday, September 22 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm in room 2203 of the Rayburn House Office Buildingexploring these “secret laws” and discussing ways to boost the public’s ability to access and understand them. You can register for this free event here.
*Daniel Schuman, Policy Director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
*Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel and Policy Adviser, American Civil Liberties Union
*Patrice McDermott, Executive Director, OpenTheGovernment.org
*V. David Zvenyach, General Counsel, Council of the District of Columbia
*Moderator: Matt Rumsey, the Sunlight Foundation