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Court Right to Know Decision could have broad effect

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The panels say any decision will be made in public session, but the truth is the discussions leading to a decision are held behind closed doors, and the vote, though recorded in public, at least appears to have been determined in secret.

One could hope Judge Hess will rule in favor of the public right to know the deliberations of its elected representatives.

"If the judge rules for us, then it's over," Coburn said following the hearing.

But he acknowledged a ruling either way could be appealed to a higher court, even including the state supreme court.

Both PSATS and Brasch have vowed to continue the fight -- to the state supreme court, if necessary. It likely will be necessary. PSATS has attorneys on retainer and plenty of money to pay them, and Brasch also has received promises of financial aid.

But in the end, this is not about one author battling one agency. All the state's residents -- and even those in other states, have a stake in the outcome if Right To Know is to have any meaning at all.

- 2013 by John Messeder. Readers may contact   Email address removed .

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John Messeder is a freelance columnist living in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, with his wife and Golden Retriever. Although he focuses primarily on environmental policy, he occasionally writes also about education and other government policy subjects.
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Court Right to Know Decision could have broad effect

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