- Did Feds Use ‘Nuclear Bomb’ Grand Jury Subpoena to Silence Critic? Supreme Court May Decide
Did Feds Use ‘Nuclear Bomb’ Grand Jury Subpoena to Silence Critic? Supreme Court May Decide
Posted Nov 1, 2010 3:39 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
When a federal prosecutor tried to get a gag order against an outspoken critic of a case holding two Midwestern doctors criminally accountable for prescribing pain medication, a judge said no, citing the First Amendment.
But then the prosecutor issued what Siobhan Reynolds describes as a "nuclear bomb" of a grand jury subpoena to her, even though she has no formal role in the case, and that was a different story, reports the New York Times in a column written by Adam Liptak.
Reynolds fought the subpoena and lost, then for some time refused to comply. That resulted in some $40,000 in fines against her and her organization before she folded. The fines were upheld by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a proceeding that was secret because it concerned a grand jury.
Now, represented by Robert Corn-Revere of Davis Wright Tremaine, Reynolds hopes to hear soon that the U.S. Supreme Court will review her case.
“The grand jury was created to be a buffer between the government and the people and to be a check on tyranny,” Corn-Revere said. “The problem in this case is that it was misused by a prosecutor to silence a government critic and then to hide those actions in secret proceedings.”