Court reverses Bush on archive secrecy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal judge on Monday tossed out part of a 2001 order by President George W. Bush that lets former presidents keep some of their presidential papers secret indefinitely.U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the U.S. Archivist’s reliance on the executive order to delay release of the papers of former presidents is “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law.”

Criticized by historians, the November 2001 order allowed the White House or a former president to block release of a former president’s papers and put the onus on researchers to show a “specific need” for many types of records.

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