A First Amendment expert says Kansas State University’s heavily redacted 11-page response to a newspaper’s open records request highlights shortcomings in the state’s open records law.
The Topeka Capital-Journal filed a request seeking more information on the process that went into crafting Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget proposal. The newspaper asked for all emails between Kansas State Institute for Commercialization President Kent Glasscock and state budget director Shawn Sullivan from November through late January.
Kansas State responded with 11 pages, though most of the contents were blacked out. Topeka attorney Mike Merriam has seen similar instances involving heavy redactions, but questioned Kansas State’s justification for them.
Merriam says challenging the redactions is difficult because the requesting party hasn’t seen the documents and it’s tough to argue they shouldn’t be shielded.