Last month, a Superior Court judge in Alaska named Patrick McKay issued a decision sought by Palin. His ruling has the potential to undermine—perhaps even destroy—transparency within the Alaska state government.
McKay had presided over the appeal in a case initially brought against Palin in 2008 by Andrée McLeod, a self-styled good-government advocate in Alaska. While Palin was campaigning as John McCain's running mate, McLeod, a former Alaska Republican Party official, filed public records requests for emails regarding state business that were sent to or from Palin's official and private email accounts, as well as to and from Todd Palin's private email account.
McLeod contended that Palin and her office had an obligation under two Alaska state laws—the Public Records Act and the Records Management Act—to preserve emails related to official business, whether they went through state or private accounts. (Governor Palin used her private account to conduct plenty of state business.) McLeod asked that the court declare that these emails were indeed public records—which would render them available to public inspection under the state's open records law—and that the court instruct state officials to stop using private email accounts to conduct state business.