The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has overturned a lower court ruling granting the right-wing public interest organization Judicial Watch standing to bring a lawsuit against the Department of Commerce related to the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC), the corporate advisory group created in 2006 to set priorities for and direct the work of the Security and Prosperity Partnership. “Judicial Watch argues the NACC is subject to the open meetings law known as Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and must make its meetings open to the public and must release records relating to those meetings,” according to a press release today.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton says in the release: “Our objective with this lawsuit is simple: to bring as much transparency as possible to the proceedings of this government-private program. In the spirit of President Obama’s promise to provide ‘unprecedented’ levels of transparency to the inner-workings of government, the Commerce Department should stop stonewalling and open these meetings and documents up to the American people as soon as possible.”
The public interest groups is also asking to become a member of the NACC, which could be much harder than gaining access to past meeting minutes. That’s because the NACC probably doesn’t exist anymore. The CEOs from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. were not invited to Guadalajara, Mexico for the last North American leaders summit and their involvement in Canada is also far from certain.
For more on the NACC, see our updated fact sheet, “Breaking up is hard to do.”