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Court reaffirms SCC exclusion from records law

The Supreme Court of Virginia has reaffirmed that the state’s open-records law doesn’t apply to the State Corporation Commission.

The justices unanimously ruled Friday that the commission is not a “public body” as contemplated by the state Freedom of Information Act. The court noted that more than two dozen other laws govern how the SCC handles information, indicating that the legislature didn’t intend for the FOIA to apply to the commission. The case was brought by a citizen dissatisfied with the commission’s response to his request for records.

The court had ruled in a 1989 case that FOIA didn’t apply to the SCC. The General Assembly in 1995 rejected legislation to make FOIA applicable to the commission. Justice Leroy Millette Jr. wrote that the court cannot second-guess the legislature’s decision.

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