Friday, February 25, 2005

Kansas AG Subpoenas Medical Records in Search of Crime

The NYTs reports on the Kansas Attorney General obtaining subpoenas to review medical records from a couple abortion clinics to determine if any crimes have been committed.

However, the NYTs reporter seems to miss the real issue, and the reason that the subpoenas should be quashed by a higher court. Per the Times story the Kansas AG asserts he needs to review medical records from abortion clinics in search of possible crimes, like stautory rape.

That is an invalid and unconstitutional reason to issue a subpoena. Before subpoenas should be issued, one must reasonable believe a specific crime has actually been committed, aka 'probable cause'. For instance, John Doe has been murdered and we need these records or this testimony in the grand jury investigation to find the murderer, or John Smith has been charged with murder and records are then subpoenaed in the underlying criminal case.

Here, the AG has no reason to believe a crime has been committed, but wants to see the medical records of hundreds of people to find a crime. If we allow this, were does it end? Will he next subpoena the medical records of all hospitals? Doctors? Schools? How about credit card companies? After all suspicious charges could mean escort services were involved or pornography purchased. And what about search warrants? The Kansas AG really should search every home in KS to make sure no crimes have been committed.

This isn't an abortion story or statutory rape story. This is a story about....The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This is a story about GD tyranny.


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