White Paper

3 Pages
  • 3 Pages

Freedom of Information: Introduction


Know your constitutional right to information.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the Constitution of every U.S. State, guarantees freedom of speech. The U.S. Supreme Court has held, however, that neither the public nor the news media, have a constitutional guarantee of access to government information or government sources of information in general. This white paper reviews how the courts have decided that even the right to information about court cases is still subject to regulation and restriction in certain instances and how the Federal Government and every State have passed laws providing some right of access to government information.



William W. P. Atkins

Johnson Bunce & Noble PC

  • Partner in the office of Johnson, Bunce & Noble PC
  • Previously Chief Civil Assistant State’s Attorney for Peoria County, Illinois
  • Previously Chief Civil Assistant State’s Attorney for Tazewell County, Illinois
  • Extensive experience advising and litigating concerning Freedom of Information Act issues and aspects of other Sunshine Laws
  • Conducts regular seminars and workshops for groups such as the National District Attorneys Association, the Illinois Association of Purchasing Officials, The Illinois State’s Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor, and the United Counties Council of Illinois, on numerous subjects, including Freedom of Information Act, Open Meetings Act, internet access to government records, ethical issues in government and various other topics
  • Member of the Federal Bar Association, Member of the Assembly of the Illinois Bar Association
  • J.D. degree, Loyola University of Chicago
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 309-691-5690

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