Redactions and transparency

We're having a small dust-up in my county over redacting routine documents that traditionally have been supplied to the public in advance of commissioners court meetings.  Redaction is a tactic I remember well from my days of practicing law; in the hands of the unscrupulous it is nothing short of wholesale hiding of documents under the guise of needing infinite time to review them for privileged information that must be painstakingly protected.  I view with favor any reasonable attempt to remove genuinely confidential information before publishing a document.  I view with suspicion any redaction project that drags on endlessly and results in the withholding of potentially explosive disclosures.

In a lawsuit, the interesting point often comes when one side manages to get the sealed documents in front of a magistrate for a private review.  Counsel who have been hiding damaging facts by mischaracterizing them as privileged can be unmasked this way, and their credibility permanently damaged.

I read these articles with interest, therefore, about Devin Nunes's surprisingly successful though frustrating campaign to combat strategic redactions in the Russian collusion saga.

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