Last week, after Infowars published a version of a brief I filed that the court was supposed to keep private due to administratively classified contents, the court and the government attorney on the case contacted me and told me that I may not discuss the leaked brief, even though it was published to no less than millions of people through Infowars, Boing Boing, Reddit, Hacker News, Facebook, Twitter, etc. etc. etc.
They base this assertion on a court order from last June precluding me from “disclosing” sealed records. But, if the records have already been disclosed to the public, talking about them further is not “disclosure” in any meaningful sense of the word. To avoid the possibility of being in contempt of a court order, should the court concur with the asinine argument put forth by the DoJ, I’ve agreed to cease discussion of the contents of the leaked brief pending a motion to the court to clarify their order, which I filed today:
[I]f a piece of information exists within a document sitting in a sealed file in the clerk’s office, while that information also exists within a document located in a public forum, it could fairly be said that any discussion of said information by Petitioner is discussion of the public forum’s copy of the information. Barring Petitioner from discussing information that exists in both a sealed document and the public domain would produce anomalous effects that would severely and unnecessarily limit his speech. For example, if the government had sealed a top secret analysis of “an alien landing in the center of Turner Field at 755 Hank Aaron Drive,” would Respondent be barred from publicly saying that Turner Field is at 755 Hank Aaron Drive, or merely be prohibited from discussing the alien? Petitioner feels that the former is clearly not the intent of the Court’s June 5th, 2013 order, and accordingly, the Court’s intent was only to bar Petitioner from disseminating information unavailable to the public.
Needless to say, the U.S. Attorney on the case is pissed, and promptly sent off a tirade to the court, CC’d to me, about improper service since the copy of my motion she received via e-mail wasn’t signed (and yep, the appellate court rules actually allow for service via e-mail!). So, I rolled my eyes and sent her a signed copy, and now a judge will determine whether I may speak about the leaked doc.