Judge in Nassar case enters new order to replace gag order
Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina signed the “Public-Disclosure Order” Wednesday which will annul and bring clarity to her previous gag order. The previous order served to limit what plaintiffs and their attorneys could say about the sexual assault allegations against ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar, and has been under attack by plaintiffs and their attorneys for being too vague.
While the old order applied to “all current and potential witnesses” and their attorneys, the new order applies to anyone named in a court filing as a witness and their attorneys. The new order will remain in effect until the case and “all direct appeals have concluded."
Aquilina issued her initial gag order March 27, which limited what accusers and their lawyers can say about the sexual assault allegations against ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar. In other words, the gag order barred parties from talking about material not already in the court record.
In addition, this initial order also restricted references to Nassar himself, stating Nassar must be referred to either by his name or as “the defendant.” This comes after a press conference by state Attorney General Bill Schuette, who referred to Nassar as “a monster.”
The order also barred attorneys from publicly commenting on the strengths or weaknesses of the other side’s case.
Following this gag order, more than 80 alleged Nassar victims and their attorneys sued Aquilina in the hopes of lifting the gag order, stating it deprives plaintiffs of their constitutional rights and “silences political speech.”
The plaintiffs also said the gag order is so vague it is impossible to properly follow or enforce.
On April 7, United States District Judge Janet T. Neff blocked the gag order by issuing a temporary restraining order.
A hearing has been scheduled for the case for April 18 in Grand Rapids.