The vindictive grand jury investigation of pain-relief advocate Siobhan Reynolds.

The law, lawyers, and the court.
Dec. 21 2010 4:00 PM

The Worst Kind of Ham Sandwich

The vindictive grand jury investigation of pain-relief advocate Siobhan Reynolds.

(Continued from Page 1)

Reynolds had to get special permission just to share information about her case with the Institute for Justice and the Reason Foundation (which publishes Reason magazine, my employer). When the organizations submitted an amicus brief on her behalf, that brief was also sealed, even though it's based on publicly available information. New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak was able to read a portion of the sealed 10th Circuit ruling on the sealing of the Reason and Institute for Justice briefs. In November, Liptak reported that the court said one of its reasons for keeping the brief secret was to keep IJ and the Reason Foundation from discussing Reynolds' pain advocacy agenda in public.

That's an astonishing thing to read in a federal appeals court opinion. All of the information in the brief is publicly available. Yet the courts are preventing Reynolds and these organizations from releasing the briefs or the court rulings, at least in part to stifle public discussion about Reynolds' criticism of government policy.

Advertisement

Reynolds  appealed the 10th Circuit rulings on both the subpoena and the seal to the Supreme Court, but it declined to take the case. That means Treadway's deployment of a grand jury investigation to silence Reynolds will stand. The demands of the subpoena have broken the Pain Relief Network. Reynolds is shutting it down because she's out of money. Federal law allows criminal defendants who are acquitted to be reimbursed for their legal expenses. But Reynolds has been neither indicted nor cleared. There's no deadline for ending the grand jury investigation. Can this possibly be how the system is supposed to work?

Like Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 17 2014 11:48 PM Spanking Is Great for Sex Which is why it’s grotesque for parenting.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?