Posts tagged ‘courts’

Freedom of the Press #15 – The Long Arm of the Law; Or Not?

Freedom of the Press #15
The Long Arm of the Law, or Not?

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
April 25, 2017

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

Now, this sets the stage for Jurisdiction.  Any criminal proceedings must be in “the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.”  Could it be any less for, say, a violation of a Court issued Protective Order?  Especially, if that Protective Order only subjects a few, fully described people, in its mandate?  The Order:

Here is the pertinent part of the “Protective Order” (#342):

ORDERED that, pursuant to Rule 16(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, defense counsel may provide copies of discovery only to the following individuals:

(1) The defendants in this case;

(2) Persons employed by the attorney of record who are necessary to assist counsel of record in preparation for trial or other proceedings in this case; and

(3) Persons who defense counsel deems necessary to further legitimate investigation and preparation of this case.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defense counsel shall provide a copy of this Protective Order to any person above who receives copies of discovery.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that any person above who receives copies of discovery from defense counsel shall use the discovery only to assist the defense in the investigation and preparation of this case and shall not reproduce or disseminate the discovery material to any other person or entity.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Protective Order applies only to:

(1) Statements by witnesses and defendants to government officials;

(2) Sealed documents; and

(3) Evidence received from searches of electronic media.

So, you see by what is underlined, that the Protective Order does not apply to me.  If I had received it from “defense counsel”, he would have given me a copy of the Protective Order.  None of the defense attorneys gave me either the discovery or the Protective Order.

.The next question that arises is whether the Supplemental Protective Order is lawfully appropriate.  The Supplemental Protective Order is prefaced with an “Order Granting in Part Government’s Motion to Enforce Protective Order” (#1691).  The pertinent parts of this Order read:

To the knowledge of the government, Hunt is not a member of the staff of any defense counsel representing any Defendant in this case.

The Court issued the Protective Order in order to obviate “a risk of harm and intimidation to some witnesses and other individuals referenced in discovery.” Order (#285) issued Mar. 9, 2016, at 2.

In order to make clear in the public record that the Protective Order prohibits even third parties from disseminating protected materials and information, the Court is filing a Supplement to the Protective Order together with this Order.

On this record, therefore, the Court concludes the government has sufficiently demonstrated that Hunt has aided and abetted the dissemination of materials covered by the Protective Order, and, therefore, the Court GRANTS in part the government’s Motion (#1680) to Enforce Protective Order as follows:

1. The Court DIRECTS Hunt to remove all protected material and/or information derived from material covered by the Protective Order from his website(s) within 24 hours of the service of this Order;

2.The Court ENJOINS Hunt from further dissemination of material covered by the Protective Order or information derived therefrom to any person or entity.

3.The Court DIRECTS the government to serve Hunt personally with a copy of this Order together with a copy of the Protective Order (#342) and the Supplement (#1692) thereto as soon as possible and to file immediately in the record a certificate stating it has effectuated such personal service or otherwise ensured Hunt has personal knowledge of the contents thereof.

4.In the event that Hunt fails to comply with this Order after he is served, the government may initiate contempt or other enforcement proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Note that the government acknowledges that the original Protective Order did not apply to me when they state.  “Hunt is not a member of the staff of any defense counsel representing any Defendant in this case“.

Then, an explanation of why the initial Protective Order was issued is given with, “a risk of harm and intimidation to some witnesses and other individuals referenced in discovery“.  However, this is one of the government’s stock excuses, along with, “I feared for my life or the life of another”, “We were outgunned”, ” ‘X’ is a flight risk”, and a multitude of other phrases intended to simply justify an action against an individual, from extended incarceration to being shot to death, though unarmed.  Now, this gets interesting.  This Order tries to convert aiding and abetting into something that the statute does not.  “On this record, therefore, the Court concludes the government has sufficiently demonstrated that Hunt has aided and abetted the dissemination of materials“.  The statute and case law says that aiding and abetting in the performance of a criminal act.  This is about as absurd as arresting someone for resisting arrest, when there is no criminal charge for which they are making an arrest.

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #15 – The Long Arm of the Law; Or Not?’ »

Freedom of the Press #14 – Telephonic Hearing

Freedom of the Press #14
Telephonic Hearing

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
April 19, 2017

In my previous article, “Freedom of the Press #13 – Sojourn to Sacramento“, I mentioned the telephonic hearing held on Thursday, April 6, leading to my release, just a few hours later.  Prior to the hearing, it was set in stone, by Magistrate Brennan, in Sacramento, that I would not arrive in Portland until April 25.  This fits the schedule for “diesel therapy” (where the run you all over the country, in a sense, punishing you for being accused of a criminal act), which would take me to Oklahoma, then to Pahrump, Nevada, and then on to Portland over a period of twenty-five days.  The hearing, however, forestalled that tour of the West.  What led up to that hearing is the subject of this article.

I was self-arrested at my home and transported to Sacramento, California, on Thursday, March 30.  Judge Anna Brown was apprised of the arrest on Thursday, shortly after I was arrested.  I will describe the events as I lived them and provide pertinent entries from the Ammon Bundy, et al case in Oregon, Docket reports.

03/30/2017 [ECF#] 2051
ORDER On March 10, 2017, the Court entered a Sealed Order # 2017 Granting Government’s Request for Arrest Warrant as to Gary Hunt. On March 30, 2017, the government advised the Court that Gary Hunt has been taken into custody pursuant to this Court’s arrest warrant. Accordingly, because there is no longer any need to maintain under seal the Court’s Order # 2017 , the Court directs the Clerk to unseal Order # 2017 Granting Government’s Request for Arrest Warrant as to Gary Hunt. Ordered by Judge Anna J. Brown. (pvh) (Entered: 03/30/2017)

On March 30, Judge Brown knew that the Warrant had been served.  Now, as I understand from my Federal Public Defender, Douglas Beevers, on Tuesday, April 4, Judge Brown had been waiting to be notified that I had arrived in Portland.  Apparently, she expected me to be in Portland on Monday.  When she contacted the US Marshal Service, they told her that I was being held in Sacramento.  Apparently, she had been advised that I would be arriving on April 25, via the diesel route.

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #14 – Telephonic Hearing’ »

Freedom of the Press #13 – Sojourn to Sacramento

Freedom of the Press #13
Sojourn to Sacramento

Gary Hunt,
Outpost of Freedom
April 11, 2017

Introduction

This past Friday, April 7, I returned home from a week long visit the Sacramento County Jail.  I was in jail based upon a Warrant for my arrest for failing to appear at a show cause hearing on March 10.  The Warrant and what led up to it will be the subject of a future article.

I am writing this article to explain a system that, quite frankly, ignores our rights, especially when only accused of a crime.  It will give a little insight into life behind bars, at least those of the Sacramento County Jail.  I can’t say that this compares to the treatment that those currently held in jail in Oregon (Jason Patrick) or Nevada (many still innocent people) are receiving, but, perhaps it will help to understand that they are being treated similarly, or worse.

It will also explain what I have gone through.  Now, when I go to Court in Portland, next month, I will be entering the courtroom on the terms that I had to establish.  Fortunately, though without a plan going in, the final result is that I achieved a bit more than I could have expected, thanks to Judge Anna Brown.

The Arrest

Around noon on March 30, 2017, a nice, sunny, warm day, here in Los Molinos, California, I received a phone call from FBI Special Agent Catalano.  This was the fourth call he had made to me, since back in January when he first provided me a copy from the US Shyster demanding that I cease and desist publishing information obtained from the United States v. Ammon Bundy, et al, discovery evidence.  He began by saying, I am here in Los Molinos with the US Marshals, and I suppose you know what this is about.”  About that time, my wife buzzed me and told me that lunch was ready.

I then asked if it was to arrest me.  He affirmed that that was the purpose.  I asked if I could have about an hour to explain to my family what was occurring.  After conferring with someone on his end, he said that would be okay.  I told him that I would call him when I was ready.  I must say that I honestly believe, because of the tone of his voice, that SA Catalano did not enjoy his task

I called my team and gave them the simple message, “I am going to be arrested and transported to Sacramento.”  Please post that on my Facebook pages.”  I told them that there was no more to report, at this time.  Then, I went to the house, planning to do a bit more preparation, after I had eaten.

As I sat down to eat lunch, the task that I had anticipated, though somehow hoped would not occur, became reality.  My wife and children know what I do, but our agreement is that my work stays in my office, and out of the house.  They had no idea what I had been writing, but that was about ready to explode, big time, as I began, “I am going to be arrested within an hour.”

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #13 – Sojourn to Sacramento’ »

Camp Lone Star – Massey Appeal Denied

Camp Lone Star
Massey Appeal Denied

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
March 27, 2017

My last article in this series was congratulations to Massey on being moved to the minimum-security camp.  After nearly two years of being treated as a threat, often being thrown in solitary confinement, just a few months after leaving the control of the US Marshal Service, he entered the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) authority.

Massey was more than willing to serve peaceably, if they didn’t mess with him.  He was just biding his time, awaiting the Appellate Court’s decision on his appeal, which was heard (oral arguments) on February 9, 2017.

Though the Decision was made on February 22, his attorney did not advise Massey of the decision until March 24.  Shortly after speaking with his attorney, he called to give me the bad news.  Massey and I agree it has become abundantly clear the judicial process has become one without consideration of written law, but rather, a tool in the persecution of those deemed unfavorable to the policies of government.

The Decision is so ambiguously written it appears the arguments Massey had set forth were never heard by the Court.  Until we receive copies of the transcript, we have nothing upon which to evaluate what transpired in the Halls of “Just US”.  We can, however, review the Decision that suggests the court seem to speak a different language than the rest of us.  We, the People, are bound by the words, as written, in the Constitution and those laws in pursuance thereof.  The Court, however, appears more inclined to the aforementioned policies.

From that Decision, we find the following:

Massey was charged with four counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). He moved to dismiss on the grounds that he was complying with Texas’s felon-in-possession statute and that Section 922(g) is unconstitutional as applied to him. He also maintained that, to satisfy the jurisdictional element of Section 922(g), the government was required to prove more than just that the firearms had traveled in interstate commerce.

Here, the Court has set forth two elements of Massey’s arguments.  The First had to do with the authority of the State.  Article IV, § 4 of the Constitution states:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…

That means, even before the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, that the States could enact their own laws, so long as the were not in conflict with those law “which shall be made in Pursuance [to the Constitution]” (Article VI, cl. 2).

. Continue reading ‘Camp Lone Star – Massey Appeal Denied’ »

Burns Chronicles No 58 – “Twice Put in Jeopardy”

Burns Chronicles No 58
“Twice Put in Jeopardy”

 

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
March 23, 2017

Of course, we must start with the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, as it is the “supreme Law of the Land.  The pertinent part reads:

“No person… shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”

Now, that phrase, “twice put in jeopardy” is also referred to as “Double Jeopardy”, though whichever way we choose to phrase it, the meaning is quite simple.  If you are charged with a crime, absent a mistrial or some other legitimate cause, you can only stand trial one time.

It used to be that a crime was simply stated.  If you murdered someone, then you were charged with murder.  If you murdered more than one person, then additional counts of murder were added to the charge.  You would not be charged with, say, unlawful discharge of a firearm within the limits of the city, destruction of private property if the bullet damaged something, assault, illegal possession of a weapon, or any other crimes that you may have committed while also committing murder.  You simply stood trial for murder.

If you were acquitted, that was it.  If they found additional evidence that proved that you had really committed the murder, that was too bad.  They had their chance, and they blew it.

This protection, afforded by the Bill of Rights was a prohibition against the government trying and then retrying, you until they could get a conviction.  It also precluded your being tried by one court, found not guilty, and then tried by another court in different jurisdiction, for the same crime.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 58 – “Twice Put in Jeopardy”’ »

Freedom of the Press #12 – Fully Biased Instigators

Freedom of the Press #12
Fully Biased Instigators

Gary Hunt,
Outpost of Freedom
March 13, 2017

When I was in the Army, I had to obey the orders that were given to me, by my superiors.  That obligation ceased nearly fifty years ago.

Since that time, I have only taken “orders” from my employer or supervisor, though I have given “orders” to subordinates, as a part of my supervisory responsibilities in various positions I have held.

I have also given “orders” for food or other purchases, as I don’t expect waitresses or clerks to be mind readers.

In all of the above instances, there has been a relationship predicated on the fact that there was some implied obligation by virtue of the relationship, fiduciary or voluntary, between the “orderer” and the “orderee“.  Yes, I made those two words up, but I suppose that all reading this will get the point being made.

This tribulation began when the U. S. Department of Justice “Demanded” that I Cease and Desist publishing a series of articles exposing informants, both inside and outside of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during the occupation by those seeking a “Redress of Grievances” (First Amendment).  The Letter also wanted me to return information that I had obtained without any illegal act on my part.  And, in a somewhat ridiculous (impossible) Demand, that I remove the articles from my website “and any other website”.

However, I have no more control over “any other website” than the Justice Department has over me.

An FBI agent delivered the Letter.  I asked the agent what obliged me to recognize the authority of the Letter.  He said that he did not know.  (See Freedom of the Press #1 – Meeting with the FBI)

Since that time, the Court has “Ordered” me to do things that I didn’t want to do.  I have refused service on two of them; the second (middle) one was never even offered to me to be refused.  In each instance, I have asked for some law that I violated or how I came under the jurisdiction of the Court in Portland, Oregon.  I have yet to receive a qualified answer thereto.

Now, I say “qualified answer”, in that the US Shysters have included case law in their Motions, though when I researched those cases submitted, I found that those cases really supported my position, not the government’s position.

The government is using the Court as a forum, while I cannot do so, since I would be submitting to the Court’s jurisdiction.  So, my recourse is to use the “Court of Public Opinion”.  The government has introduced articles from both the “Burns Chronicles” and “Freedom of the Press” series into the Court Record.  As I have pointed out, one cannot submit a page of a book into the record without submitting the whole book.  The articles are nothing less than pages of a book, and must be taken as a whole.  This is especially true with “Freedom of the Press”, as it is chapters in an ongoing story — recorded as that story plays out.

The government has set forth arguments, made assertions, and have otherwise provided “papers” to the Court which represent that I am subject to jurisdiction.  However, each of those assertions has been disproven in my responses.  So, though they began by using my articles in an effort to defame me, and have selectively chosen what “evidence” they want in the Record, the government has been remarkably consistent in ignoring content that disputes those claims.

On Friday, March 10, 2017, the government filed “Government’s Status Report Regarding Order to Show Cause” (Report), asking that the Court “issue a warrant for his arrest to be served by the United States Marshal.”  In support of that Report, they also filed the “Affidavit of FBI Special Agent Jason P. Kruger in Support of Government’s Status Report Regarding Order to Show Cause” (Affidavit).  This article is my response to which can only be seen as a demonstration of the incompetence of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The first section of the Report is titled “The Government Has Established by Clear and Convincing Evidence That Gary Hunt Is Violating This Court’s Lawful and Direct Orders“.  So, let’s look at some of that “clear and convincing evidence”. (Emphasis, mine.)

 

Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #12 – Fully Biased Instigators’ »

Freedom of the Press #11 – Aiding, But Not Abetting

Freedom of the Press #11
Aiding, But Not Abetting

Gary Hunt,
Outpost of Freedom
March 3, 2017   (Coincidental to the presumed authority of Judge Brown’s assumption that she could Order me to answer by this date.)

The government has persistently suggested that I have “aided and abetted” the defendants by exposing informants that were paid by the government to spy on the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge during January 2016.  That is only one of the elements that needs to exist before the Court can find me in contempt of court for non-compliance with the Order to remove all prohibited material from my website and any other website.

The other elements include whether I am subject to the Court’s Protective Order, and, if so, do I fall within the jurisdiction of the Court.  Currently, the Court has an outstanding Order that I appear and show cause why I should not be held in contempt of court.

Well, as explained in Freedom of the Press #3 – “Contemptuous Postings”, aiding and abetting has a legal definition.  That definition can be found in case law as well as legal dictionaries, such as Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Edition, which states:

Help, assist, or facilitate the commission of a crime, promote the accomplishment thereof, help in advancing or bringing it about, or encourage, counsel, or incite as to its commission.

The case law cited by the government shysters also includes criminal activity as a necessary element.  One of the reasons for the Supreme Court decision in New York Times Co. v. United States (Pentagon Papers) was that there was no crime resulting from the disclosure of the classified documents.  The Court then upheld, in rather strong terms, the right, even the responsibility, of the press to publish such information.

Key to that decision was an absence of aiding and abetting, since though the exposure of the information was in good faith and brought to light some misdeeds of government, the publication of that material was not criminal, nor did it lead to a criminal act.  The person (Daniel Ellsberg) who violated his signed agreement not to disclose the information, committed the only criminal act.  The New York Times aided and abetted no one.  (See Freedom of the Press #9 – “Prior Restraint”.)

In the Court’s Order (ECF #1691) of January 11, 2017, Judge Brown states:

On this record, therefore, the Court concludes the government has sufficiently demonstrated that Hunt has aided and abetted the dissemination of materials covered by the Protective Order, and, therefore, the Court GRANTS in part the government’s Motion (#1680) to Enforce Protective Order as follows:

Using her judicial discretion (See Freedom of the Press #7 – “Judicial Discretion” and Tyranny), she has determined that there is no party that I aided, since that party is unnamed.  She has also made the dissemination of materials a criminal act, though I, similar to the New York Times, am not subject to the Protective Order.

Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #11 – Aiding, But Not Abetting’ »

Freedom of the Press #10 – Not Served, Again

Freedom of the Press #10
Not Served, Again

Gary Hunt,
Outpost of Freedom
February 27, 2017

As has been reported by Maxine Bernstein’s Tweets (my primary source for keeping track of the doings in the Portland Group 2 trial), I have finally been served with the Order to Show Cause (ECF No. 1901). I say “finally” since the first notice had come from Maxine. Next, I received a FedEx delivery.  However, that doesn’t satisfy initial service. So, On Wednesday, February 22, I received a call from my favorite FBI personality. SA Matthew Catalano. He is good natured, diligent in his duties, and appears to have not taken a side in this ongoing battle between Judge Anna J. Brown and the United States’ chief Shyster, Billy J. Williams, on the one side, and yours truly on the other. I had already made plans for Thursday, and he seemed quite busy with other matters, so we agreed to meet on Friday. When we met, he handed me some paperwork, specifically the Order to Show Cause.

Now, as required, he reported to Portland that it had been delivered (note, I didn’t say served), and the Certificate of Service was duly recorded in the Ammon Bundy, et al, trial docket, that afternoon. The text of that Certificate of Service reads as follows:

Pursuant to this Court’s February 16, 2017, Order (ECF No. 1900) the government certifies that on February 24, 2017, FBI Special Agent Matthew Catalano met with third party Gary Hunt and personally served Hunt with a copy of the Order to Show Cause (ECF No. 1901). Agent Catalano had previously sent the Order to Hunt by FedEx. Hunt acknowledged that he had already seen and read the Order. Hunt stated that the Order included a time for him to respond to the Order, which he understood to be for civil contempt. Agent Catalano showed Hunt that there was an option for Hunt to call and request a defense attorney, and Hunt acknowledged this. Although Hunt took the copy of the Order to Show Cause, he stated that he was refusing service of the Order.

Now, they did get it right when they stated that I had refused service, though they pointed out that I had taken the Order to Show Cause. I simply want to set the record straight with my notes, taken shortly after the meeting:

Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #10 – Not Served, Again’ »

Freedom of the Press #9 – “Prior Restraint”

Freedom of the Press #9
“Prior Restraint”

Gary Hunt

Outpost of Freedom
February 22, 2017  – George Washington’s Birthday

In the previous article, though suggested in the government’s Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Government’s Motion For an Order to Show Cause, of February 7, 2017, it really didn’t get to the heart of “Prior Restraint”.  So, let’s get to the heart of that matter.

Let’s start with the law that explains the potential severity of publication of certain information, in a case similar to what the government and Judge Anna J. Brown are attempting to construct against me.  Section 793 (e) of the Espionage Act was cited as the authority by which the government attempted to impose “Prior Restraint” on the New York Times for publishing what was known as the “Pentagon Papers”.  The Papers had been leaked to the press by a government employee who had signed a non-disclosure agreement (not just based upon a Protective Order), which precluded that employee from divulging any information protected by Section, 793 (e):

Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it.
… Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

There, in a rather large nutshell, is the extent of the government’s authority to impose upon a party limitations in communicating certain information, and/or retaining and/or not delivering it to the government.  However, as we shall see, even that did not have the effect implied in the wording of the Act.

To understand the legal limitations of government’s authority, we need to look at New York Times Co. v. United States 403 U.S. 713 (1971).  The case taken up by the Supreme Court included a similar action brought against the Washington Post.  The cases were joined and the Supreme Court granted certiorari, in which the United States sought to enjoin the New York Times and the Washington Post from publishing the contents of a classified study entitled “History of U.S. Decision-Making Process on Viet Nam Policy.”  Prior to the Supreme Court decision, the District Court for the Southern District of New York, in the New York Times case, and the District Court for the District of Columbia, and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the Washington Post case held that the Government had not met that burden of proof.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the District Court in the New York Times case, putting a stay on publication on June 25, 1971.  The Supreme Court then ordered that the stay be vacated.

Now, before we go on, this is not about the source that provided the information to the newspapers.  It is solely about the right of the press to publish what it had obtained, regardless of the source.  With that in mind, we must take the reader back to a statement in the Supplement Memorandum (linked above), which states:

The government is not seeking the testimony of third-party Gary Hunt to identify the source or sources of the protected discovery information. The government intends to investigate that on its own. The government is merely seeking the removal of protected discovery material that this Court has ordered protected. Nothing about Gary Hunt’s blogging[sic] activities is implicated by the Motion to Show Cause. Third-party Gary Hunt is continuing to disseminate protected discovery material in the face of three Court Orders. No privilege is implicated.

This demonstrates the similarity of the parties in New York Times Co. and the current situation.  In neither case is the source of the information sought, though there can be little doubt that in both cases, the government was investigating the source.

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #9 – “Prior Restraint”’ »

Freedom of the Press #8 – “Qualified Press Privilege”

Freedom of the Press #8
“Qualified Press Privilege”

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
February 21, 2017

In Freedom of the Press #6 – “Tilting at Windmills” – Redux, I address the jurisdictional issue that the government addressed in their Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Government’s Motion For an Order to Show Cause, of February 7, 2017.  Due to the length of the Supplement, and the length of #6, I chose to address two remaining issues in a subsequent post.  Those two issues, Prior Restraint and Qualified Press, will be addressed in that order.  From the Supplemental Memorandum:

IV. There Is No Prior Restraint Issue or Qualified Press Privilege
A. There Is No Prior Restraint Issue Presented Here

This Court has the authority to issue protective orders protecting criminal discovery and, specifically, confidential source information. The substantial government interest in protecting confidential sources is long established. See Roviaro v. United States, 353 U.S. 53 (1957). This substantial government interest is unrelated to any suppression of expression and outweighs Hunt’s First Amendment rights. No one has challenged the legitimacy of the Court’s Protective Order, and to permit a party to end run the order by passing the information to a blogger threatens to undermine criminal discovery and the interests identified in Roviaro—i.e., if we cannot protect the confidentiality of our law enforcement informants, we cannot expect their cooperation in future investigations.

We are not asking this Court to restrain Hunt’s ability generally to write about the case— or even the informants—we only want him to observe this Court’s Order, which means that he cannot publish the discovery material subject to the Court’s Order. This discovery material was not in the public domain in any form. This Court should be able to enforce its Protective Order and prohibit wide dissemination of discovery which includes confidential FBI reports. See Seattle Times Co. v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20 (1984) (an order prohibiting dissemination of discovered information before trial is not the kind of classic prior restraint that requires exacting First Amendment scrutiny). Besides Seattle Times Co. there are no cases that discuss the prior restraint issue in the context of sealed and protected discovery information in the context of a criminal trial. In United States v. Noriega, 917 F.2d 1543 (1990), the issue was the balance between a defendant’s Sixth Amendment Right to a fair trial and the First Amendment interests asserted by CNN. The Noriega Court held that CNN should not be able to violate a court order and litigate at the same time. Hunt has waived any First Amendment defense by defying the Court’s Orders.

Let’s address these underlined items, one at a time.  First, we will look at Roviaro.  Although I have addressed Roviaro, before, it is worth revisiting, since the government seems to rely heavily upon that decision.  Here is what they said:

This Court has the authority to issue protective orders protecting criminal discovery and, specifically, confidential source information. The substantial government interest in protecting confidential sources is long established. See Roviaro v. United States, 353 U.S. 53 (1957)

The government asserts that they have a right to protect the identity of informants with a protective order.  They have made this assertion, before, though they appear to have not yet read the decision nor understand the ramifications.

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #8 – “Qualified Press Privilege”’ »