Oversight, Enforcement, and Extension in Public Interest Litigation: An Empirical Analysis of Compliance with the Ninth Circuit’s Western States Paving v. Washington State DOT Decision
19 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2011
Date Written: 2010
It is often forgotten that litigation is only one of many beneficial services that public-interest legal organizations provide to the public. Long before public-interest legal organizations file documents in court, they often seek public agency information through federal and state public records access laws in order to become fully informed of the background facts of a potential case. In actively seeking public documents, these organizations are able to determine whether or not federal and state agencies are actually following the law. This often underappreciated oversight function performed by public-interest legal organizations provides an invaluable service to society. A recent example that highlights the significant effect this oversight has had on such agencies in the area of public contracting may be seen through the results of the Sacramento, California-based Pacific Legal Foundation’s Western States Paving Project. To that end, this Article constitutes both an empirical analysis and a five-year retrospective of the Ninth Circuit’s Western States Paving v. Washington State Department of Transportation decision.
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