America First Legal Files Brief in Georgia Supreme Court to Reject Attempts of Radical District Attorneys in Georgia to Avoid Transparency and Accountability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, America First Legal (AFL) filed a brief in the case Gonzalez v. Miller, where the Georgia Supreme Court is deciding whether Georgia’s Open Records Act applies to district attorneys’ offices. This critical case arises out of Athens-Clarke County, but the underlying issue is one that would also prevent public oversight and accountability of other district attorneys’ offices, like Fulton County, where Fani Willis is continuing her political prosecution of former President Donald J. Trump. 

On “Day One,” Athens-Clarke County District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez promised to increase transparency — along with eliminating cash bail for low-level offenses, declining to prosecute low-level marijuana possession, and ending death penalty prosecutions. But now, while her office is prosecuting the illegal alien who murdered Laken Riley in her district, DA Gonzalez takes the position that her office is not subject to transparency requirements of Georgia’s Open Records Act.

If DA Gonzalez’s position wins, the good people of Georgia and the general public will lack the ability to subject Gonzalez and other district attorneys in Georgia, like Fani Willis, to the same transparency and accountability that attach to every single other prosecutor in the United States. That radical outcome would just encourage further abusive political prosecutions by district attorneys in the great State of Georgia. 

In its brief, AFL argues that:

  • The Open Records Act applies to “Every state department, agency, board, bureau, office, commission, public corporation, and authority.” This plainly includes the district attorneys’ offices.
    • Georgia’s statutes clearly establish that the district attorney’s office is just that — an office.
    • The Open Records Act’s context confirms its application by expressly including exceptions for records compiled for prosecution purposes. Why would the statute include these exceptions if district attorneys’ offices were never subject to the Open Records Act?   
    • DA Gonzalez failed to present a real constitutional challenge that could override the Open Records Act’s text.   
  • DA office transparency promotes the rule of law. DA Gonzalez exaggerates the practical problems of subjecting a public prosecutor to the Open Records Act. All other state and federal prosecutors’ offices are subject to similar open records laws, which also include statutory exemptions for sensitive law enforcement and prosecution records.

AFL is proud to file this brief and will continue to fight to enforce the rule of law, both federally and on the state level.

Statement from Gene Hamilton, America First Legal Executive Director, Executive Vice President, and General Counsel: 

“Every single prosecutor in the United States is subject to transparency and public accountability for their actions—and rightfully so, as individual liberty is at stake in any criminal prosecution. Yet the ultraliberal District Attorney of Athens-Clarke County—who is more than happy to enact policies that help illegal aliens avoid deportation—wants to be treated differently and not held accountable to her constituents and the great people of Georgia. We are proud to submit a brief in this case and hope that the Supreme Court of Georgia issues the right decision,” said Gene Hamilton.

Read the brief here.

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