The blogger and former prosecutor in question is Rachel Alexander, who co-founded Intellectual Conservative along with her brother Andrew nearly a decade ago. Before I go further I should mention that I have been contributing articles to IC since 2003. So they’ve had to put up with my baseball articles a lot longer than folks here at TAS. Rachel is a regular contributor to Townhall.com has also contributed articles to TAS in the past.
With that said, it should be noted that Rachel has not been disbarred although the former Maricopa County Attorney and one Deputy County Attorney were disbarred in connection with the same RICO case. For her part, Rachel did receive a suspension of her law licence of six months plus one day back in April. However, this suspension was subsequently put on hold pending an appeal. But even if she wins the appeal another complaint has been lodged against her with the State Bar concerning the same case.
As Malkin and others have pointed out, the complaints made against Rachel are peculiar because a) while she was targeted by the State Bar Association, her direct supervisor was not and b) much of the complaint against her concerns her blogging rather than anything she did in her capacity in the Maricopa County Attorney’s office per se. Indeed, a portion of the interrogatory demands that she:
Please identify any and all websites where your blog entries were posted, whether under your own name, on behalf of another person, under an alias, or anonymously, during the relevant time period.
Well, the relevant time period begins on January 1, 2005 and ends when she left the Maricopa County Attorney’s office in 2010. Now as someone who has been writing online for nearly a decade I can tell you that many of my articles and blog posts are often cited by other bloggers usually without my knowledge. So not only is Rachel expected to identify the websites to which she directly contributed but is also obliged to identify websites that may have reposted her work without her knowledge. This could lead to a situation where despite a painstaking effort to be cooperative one could unwittingly omit a website and be found to be in breach of the court’s order.
Now I can understand not wanting to have a lawyer working in a County Attorney or District Attorney’s office blogging about an ongoing investigation, a pending case or otherwise sharing information that is not available to the public. At the very minimum it would give the appearance of impropriety. Indeed, would we want, for example, an attorney working for Special Prosecutor Angela Corey to be blogging about details concerning the prosecution of George Zimmerman? I think not.
Yet I believe what is being asked of Rachel by the Arizona Bar goes well beyond legitimate concerns regarding the administration of justice and severely encroaches her First Amendment rights.
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