Nebraska Supreme Court Opts for Secrecy

Nebraska Supreme Court Opts for Secrecy

September 30, 2018 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

To no one’s surprise, the Nebraska Supreme Court has done it. It’s produced a rule under which materials used to train judges who rule in divorce, child custody and parenting time cases may be withheld from the public. From now on, Nebraskans aren’t permitted to know how their judges are trained.

How does that square with the ruling by the Nebraska Supreme Court in Veskrna vs. Steele that those very records are public under the Nebraska Public Records Act? The state’s highest court sided with Dr. Les Veskrna who wanted to know what education family court judges are receiving. Well, I’m not sure.

After all, the Nebraska Legislature long ago enacted the Public Records Act that unambiguously supports the public’s right to know regarding a very wide range of governmental behavior. The law plainly promotes openness and discourages secrecy. The public’s right to know is, generally speaking, the policy of the state and has been for a long time.

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