Second gag order in Nassar case will stay in place, judge rules
A motion from more than 80 plaintiffs to reconsider the second gag order issued by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was denied by United States District Judge Janet T. Neff on May 15. This case is currently closed.
Plaintiffs in this case requested the court reconsider or set aside the second gag order issued by Aquilina.
The second gag order, issued last month, was created to clarify and annul Aquilina's previous gag order, which plaintiffs attacked for being too vague. While the previous 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.
According to court documents filed May 16, the plaintiffs hoped the new order would be dimissed by Neff as moot — a gag order that is debatable with no practical value — and accept their challenge of the second gag order.
In response, Aquilina argued the plaintiffs' complaint failed as a matter of law based on "plaintiffs' lack of standing, the applicability of abstention doctrines, and plaintiffs' failure to state a claim."
Defendant Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette stated in court documents that he would like to see the re-opening of this case. Scheutte restated his request that the court dismiss him from the case and noted he is not named in the plaintiff complaint.
Neff denied the plaintiffs' motion, stating the argument "does not provide a basis upon which to find a palpable defect by which this court and the parties have been misled." This means the second gag order issued by Aquilina will stay in effect.
Neff also denied Schuette's individual dismissal from the case: "A final determination of lack of subject-matter jurisdiction of a case in a federal court, of course, precludes further adjudication of it."
The initial gag order was issued by Aquilina March 29, and served to limit what accusers and their lawyers can say about the sexual assault allegations against ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar. It barred parties from talking about material not already in the court record.
After the first gag order was issued, more than 80 alleged victims and their attorneys sued Aquilina in an attempt to lift the gag order and stated it deprived plaintiffs of their constitutional rights and “silences political speech.”