When the Obama Justice Department wanted to get a warrant so they could read the e-mails and review the phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen, they went to U.S. Magistrate Alan Kay, who granted the warrant on the basis of the DOJ’s claim that Rosen may have been guilty of criminal conspiracy. That flies in the face of all legal history concerning reporters who doggedly pursue information, even classified information.

Yet Kay granted the warrant. Why would he do that? Well he may not be a big fan of Fox News.

In 2006, Kay issued a ruling favorable to Guantanamo Bay detainees and highly critical of the Bush Defense Department in their treatment of the detainees. According to Kay’s Wikipedia page, Fox News quoted extensively on the air from Kay’s ruling in the case of Salim Muhood Adem v. George W. Bush. I have not seen the segment, but knowing Fox News – particularly on issues like Gitmo in the post-9/11 years – I think it’s a pretty safe guess that they weren’t quoting Kay’s ruling as a means of praising his decision.

This is crucially important. In order to secure the warrant that allowed them to read his e-mails, the Obama Justice Department accused Rosen of criminal conspiracy, and in order to make that stick – against all legal precedent – they had to find a judge who was willing to buy the argument. Kay was their man…

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