I received a call from the clerk’s office of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals stating that opposing counsel (the government) has complained to the Court that I am violating the order sealing the documents upon which my brief is based by talking about their contents — even though the contents of those documents were (accidentally) published by the Court, and then reproduced in the media. I called the attorney on the case, Sharon Swingle of the U.S. Department of Justice, who confirmed that the government’s position is that I have violated court order and must take down the blog post in question.
I tried explaining to Ms. Swingle that the document had been published by a third party and that I was simply discussing that now-public document. I tried explaining to Ms. Swingle how absurd it would be to say that any third party can talk about anything in that document they wanted, but that I was somehow barred. I tried explaining to Ms. Swingle the Streisand Effect, and that she will now be drawing more attention to the documents that the government wants hidden from the public. Ms. Swingle continued to insist that the government’s position was that I must take the comments down, and so I have.
I will file a motion with the court to clarify whether I may comment on a public document, and if permission is granted, I will re-publish my statement. Until then, you’ll have to read through the documents at the article published by Infowars or any of the others who have picked the story up.
Here is the order that the government says I’m violating by talking about a document that was found and published by a third party: Corbett v. TSA – Gag Order
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