Eric Jochim of MTN News reports:
The Montana Supreme Court has denied author Jon Krakauer access to education records he sought from the Montana University System.
Justices overturned, in part, a lower court ruling granting Krakauer access to redacted records.
Justices found in their second ruling “that a student’s enhanced privacy interest is not dependent on the level of public interest in the student and that, consequently, [Jon] Doe’s status as a prominent student-athlete did not diminish his privacy interest.”
Read more on KBZK. Of note, this was a 4-3 decision, with those dissenting pointing to Montana’s constitutional right to know provisions. But as the AP reports in other coverage of the decision, Krakauer had made a very specific request that named the student and any responses to that request would therefore obviously be specific to that student and redaction would therefore be futile. The opinion noted that if Krakauer had requested a broader class of documents, e.g., sexual assault complaints reviewed by the Commissioner of Education, they would have been able to provide him with redacted versions of some of the documents he actually sought.