“Room 8” Subpoenas and Prosecutors Running Wild

This post is a corrected version.

The New York Times and Simple Justice report on a Bronx District Attorney’s First Amendment overreach.

Somebody in the Bronx District Attorney’s office (nobody is taking credit for this foolishness) claims to have been investigating some poorly written death threats. (source) In the process, they issued a subpoena to the New York Political Blog Room 8 for the identity of some anonymous commenters.

The First Amendment protects an individual’s right to speak anonymously. See McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm’n, 514 U.S. 334, 342 (1995) (“[A]n author’s decision to remain anonymous . . . is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.”). Naturally, that freedom is not absolute, and a death threat

The petty little nazi who issued this subpoena wanted to make sure that he didn’t get whacked with a Streisand-Dozier effect so, for good anti-First Amendment measure, he added this line to the subpoena:

DO NOT DISCLOSE THE EXISTENCE OF THIS REQUEST BUT UPON THE ORDER OF A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION. ANY SUCH DISCLOSURE COULD IMPEDE THE INVESTIGATION BEING CONDUCTED AND THEREBY INTERFERE WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT.

Yes, apparently the Bronx D.A. has joined Dozier in thinking that he too can issue unconstitutional faux national security letters in order to try and quash criticism.

Not on Paul Alan Levy’s watch! Paul (today’s First Amendment Bad Ass Award Winner) jumped into action and gave the Bronx D.A. a royal PWNING. They have since retracted the subpoena and run off into the corner like the scummy little roaches they are.

4 Responses to “Room 8” Subpoenas and Prosecutors Running Wild

  1. Ronnie Larsen says:

    love this blog!!!!

  2. Annonymous says:

    Several news organizations have now reported that it was an investigation into horrible and violent threats made by twisted individual who, of note, promised he or she was going to rape and kill people’s children. As such, it appears to be a legitimate use of subpoena power.

    Also, it is my understadning that the language ordering someone not to disclose the existance of a subpoena is well accepted and quite standard when an ongoing criminal investigation is invovled.

  3. Paragraph 1: Links please!

    Paragraph 2: Your understanding is a bit misplaced

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