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August 20, 2013

Revised Post (revised yet again) upon request

Regular readers know all about the controversy and pending en-banc litigation engendered by a decision rendered three months ago by a split Sixth Circuit panel in US v. Blewett, No. 12-5226 (6th Cir. May 17, 2013) (available here).....

ADDITIONAL ORIGINAL MATERIALS IN REST OF THIS POST REMOVED upon reasonable requests by lots of reasonable folks for reasonable reasons, in my judgment....

August 20, 2013 at 02:50 PM | Permalink


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Does anyone else wonder about the propriety of a court's asking a legitimate blogger to take down a truthful link to its opinions?

I understand that the court wants to straighten out its own caselaw on this subject, but it's the entity that made available the conflicting panel opinions to begin with; Doug didn't steal them.

Washing your dirty linen in public might be embarrassing, but, unless there's something I'm not seeing here (as there certainly could be), I think it is more respectful of First Amendment values, and would provide a useful lesson in judicial fallibility and conscience, to allow the initial opinions to remain public, even as the court seeks to reconcile them.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 22, 2013 1:24:04 PM

I would like to seize this (rare) opportunity to state that I totally agree with Bill on this. (Except for his apparently qualifying characteristic "legitimate" - No one is in a position to classify or qualify a blog as "legitimate" or otherwise.) But the main point is clear and simple: it was totally inappropriate for the court to request that a truthful report of its own public actions be "removed" (absent some extraordinary situation like the inadvertent public filing of a properly sealed document) ... and even less appropriate for a scholar and/or blogger to comply. Report the request and its justification, yes. Comply? No!

Posted by: Peter G | Aug 23, 2013 10:06:10 AM

Thanks for these comments, Bill and Peter, which reflected a lot of my own reactions/concerns upon receiving various communications about this matter. But, largely because a number of reputable folks have told me the issue actually concerns the kind of "extraordinary situation" that Peter suggests, I have opted to comply with what seems to me to be reasonable take-down requests from a number of reasonable folks.

Hope that makes sense to all who might be scratching their head about all this.

Posted by: Doug B. | Aug 23, 2013 4:42:17 PM

Care to share the reasonable reasons? This seems extremely odd.

Posted by: Evan | Aug 23, 2013 10:55:32 PM

Well Doug i can see where you would agree. But sorry i would not. I'd have told the court that if your not big enough to handle it when you screw up. Get out of the business.

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 23, 2013 11:32:19 PM

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