US Judiciary opts to spend millions on accessing its own records, which are now available on the Web for free

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud sez,

Some days, the U.S. government truly astounds. At Public.Resource.Org, we released 50 years of decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeals. Knowing that the U.S. Courts have to pay big bucks to West Law and Lexis/Nexis to access their own archives, we though they might be interested in having their very own copy.

So, we asked how we could maybe get a phone call to discuss making a donation of case law. Instead of a phone call, the general counsel of the courts (how's that for a meta position!) sent me a letter saying that while this would be great for the public he saw no benefit to the judiciary and our gift offer was hereby declined.

(Not only does the Judiciary spend big bucks on legal information services, this is the same group that runs the billion-dollar IT boondoggle called PACER, which mandates that the public pay $0.08/page for court documents even though they have $146.6 million in unspent funds in their computer account they can't even figure out what to do with.)


(Thanks, Carl!)