According to a new report from Florida Playbook, a Republican-appointed judge has ruled that Florida governor Ron DeSantis “has a legal right to shield information from the public, creating a new privilege that could ultimately allow the potential contender for president to keep private documents related to key decisions.”
For months now, both public and private attorneys for DeSantis have used recent lawsuits to claim the governor is shielded by executive privilege, meaning “his office does not have to turn over information to those challenging his actions in court.”
But the decision handed down on January 3rd has far greater implications outside the courtroom. Under the guise of executive privilege, DeSantis could refuse to respond to FOIA requests — obstructing news organizations and the institutions put in place to hold him accountable.
“Ron DeSantis has used the governor’s office as a launching pad for his challenge against Donald Trump for the Republican nomination – and now he has invented a new tool to block critical press oversight of his administration while preparing to announce his campaign,” said American Bridge 21st Century President Pat Dennis. “This is a dangerous ruling and allows the governor to circumvent the transparency laws that are put in place to be a check on his power.”
Published: Jan 18, 2023