National Freedom of Information Day

National Freedom of Information Day

Happy birthday James Madison!

March 16th celebrates the birth of the fourth president of the United States of America, Mr. James Madison. Known as the father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights due to his heavy involvement in the actual drafting of both documents, Madison's short stature (standing at just 5'4") did not lessen his booming voice. His view on checks and balances in government was well known. While he supported a robust government, he worried about the balance of power between the three branches of government and argued that the people should have full transparency in all government dealings. 

On July 4, 1966 the Freedom of Information Act (F.O.I.A.) was passed by Congress and signed into law. It went into effect one year later and provided citizens the right to request access to federal agency records or information. There are of course some exemptions though such as documents marked classified to protect national security, personal privacy and law enforcement. This transparency was aimed at keeping citizens "in the know." 

I'd love to know James Madison's thoughts on the constant comment of "I'll circle back to you on that" we so frequently hear these days when asking practically any question of our current administration. 

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