On this July Fourth, I was pleased to find that the Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute blog, LII Announce, quoted this paragraph from the Declaration of Independence, number 4 of the many grievances listed by the colonists against the King:
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
And of this passage, they say:
That the colonists should consider a complaint about informational distance to be on a par with the dissolution of the legislatures, imposition of unfair taxes, and the lack of a judiciary is revealing. These days, the de facto depository of our public records is the Internet, no longer physically distant but perhaps equally fatiguing in other ways. Outmoded publishing policies and practices — and a failure to recognize the public need for legal information — keep us at a remove from our public legal information that is greater than it should be. We’re a click away in theory, but the practical distance is much greater.
— The Glorious Fourth, by Charles Macklin, LII Announce, July 4, 2008.
Thanks to Tom for the tip on the OpenHouseProject mailing list.
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