In Uncategorized on 08/11/2014 at 19:16

The statistics page on my blog tells me I have 104 followers, and ever so many views over the lifetime of this, my current literary effort (“a poor thing, but mine own”). Still, to have an occasional nod from the authors of the opinions and orders at 400 Second Street, NW, is a great pleasure.

Cf. (as my high-priced colleagues say) “Guess Who Reads My Blog?” 4/1/14, as the Second Street guys really put on a show.

And today, my “sardonic” self gets a wee tip of the hat in an order from that Obliging Judge David Gustafson, in Gregory Scott Savoy, Docket No. 12316-12L, filed 8/11/14.

Greg wants his case to proceed as “Anonymous”, even though there are 48 filings so far, all with his name on them. He claims he wants his medical history sealed (done back in February), and Judge Gustafson never mentioned Greg’s medical condition thereafter, but Greg did.

And Greg maintained other, related litigation not under seal, wherein the DCDC named Greg’s medical condition in quoting from the complaint therein.

Of course, Greg cannot remain anonymous.

But what caught my eye and gave rise to this blogpost is the following.

“Petitioner recently learned from an Internet search that, in July and September 2013, he was named in two ‘sardonic blog posts’ on the Internet. Those posts commented on this case and were occasioned by previous orders we have issued in this case. The blog posts did not name petitioner’s medical condition.” Order, at p. 2

Me, sardonic?

I would point out in passing that, in an exchange of e-mails on Friday, March 21, 2014, Mr Savoy mentioned his medical condition in general terms, and objected to my reportage of his case (and I did not then or thereafter mention his medical history). I must conclude that his internet search above-referenced took place some time before March 21, 2014.

I replied then, and reply now: “Mr Savoy, If you’re unhappy with the present laws, contact your Senators and Representative. They can change the laws; I can’t. If you are unhappy with Judge Gustafson’s decision, then appeal. The Circuit Court can overrule him; I can’t. And if you are unhappy with my present reportage, I cannot change that. I call ’em as I see ’em, and as I perceive how the Court calls ’em.”

But, sardonic or not, Judge Gustafson is a true First Amendment champion: “We will also deny the motion to the extent it asks us, in effect, to impose any ‘gag’ order or similar restriction on media discussion of this case. Apart from the impediments of the First Amendment (assuring ‘freedom of speech [and] of the press’–freedoms surely valued by petitioner, given his profession), any attempt by the Court to do so would surely backfire by calling much more attention to this case than it would otherwise receive.” Order, at pp. 3-4.

  1. I wonder what the European “Right to be Forgotten” doctrine would say about this?


    • Let the EU say what it will. We still have, in this country for the moment, a vestigial Constitutional right to free speech and a free press. And as to the EU legislation, I can only quote Mr Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia:

      “Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has described the EU’s Right to be Forgotten as ‘deeply immoral’, as the organisation that operates the online encyclopedia warned the ruling will result in an internet ‘riddled with memory holes’.

      Speaking at Wikipedia’s annual Wikimania conference in London today[8/6/14], Wales said: ‘History is a human right and one of the worst things that a person can do is attempt to use force to silence another.

      ‘I’ve been in the public eye for quite some time; some people say good things and some people say bad things. That’s history and I would never ever use any kind of legal process like this to try to suppress the truth. I think that’s deeply immoral.'”


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