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Appeals Court Rules For Pence In Open Records Suit

The Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.

Photo: Brandon Smith (IPB News)

The Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday that former Gov. Mike Pence did not have to disclose certain documents related to challenging President Obama’s immigration orders.

Pence, using outside counsel, joined in a 2014 Texas lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. Indianapolis attorney William Groth filed a request under Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act, or APRA, to view communications and documents related to that decision.

Pence’s office complied, but redacted some documents and withheld one other.

Both the Indiana Public Access Counselor and a trial court ruled that Pence acted within APRA’s boundaries and the Appeals Court agrees, ruling that Pence was allowed to redact and withhold the information under APRA exceptions.

Pence’s office also tried to argue that the court didn’t even have a right to weigh in at all on whether he acted properly under APRA; Pence relied on a recent ruling in a different APRA case involving the Indiana House Republican caucus.

But the Appellate Court disagrees on that point, saying Pence’s argument would render the entire APRA statute meaningless.

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