Journalists challenge Governor’s use of executive privilege over documents regarding meetings with outside “advisers.”
On July 25, 2011, the ACLU-NJ filed suit against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's office on behalf of Gawker Entertainment and its reporter challenging the Governor's refusal — based on claims of executive privilege — to release correspondence between Fox News President Roger Ailes and Governor Christie. Gawker reporter John Cook filed a request for correspondence under the state Open Public Records Act (OPRA) on May 25, 2011. The governor's office responded to the OPRA request on June 14, 2011, refusing to confirm whether the records existed, but said that if they did, they would be exempt from OPRA under executive privilege. Executive privilege protects the Governor from disclosing records that contain advice to him on matters related to his executive functions as Governor of New Jersey. The lawsuit seeks to ensure that Governor Christie has not improperly invoked the privilege. Within days of the suit, Governor Christie’s office settled the case by releasing what documents they had pertaining to the meeting.