Can the First Amendment Defeat A Grand Jury Subpoena?:
Here's an interesting report:
  Federal prosecutors have withdrawn a subpoena seeking the identities of thousands of people who bought used books through online retailer Inc. (AMZN), newly unsealed court records show.
  The withdrawal came after a judge ruled the customers have a First Amendment right to keep their reading habits from the government.
  "The (subpoena's) chilling effect on expressive e-commerce would frost keyboards across America," U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker wrote in a June ruling.
  "Well-founded or not, rumors of an Orwellian federal criminal investigation into the reading habits of Amazon's customers could frighten countless potential customers into canceling planned online book purchases," the judge wrote in a ruling he unsealed last week.
A bit about the criminal case that led to the subpeona:
  Federal prosecutors issued the subpoena last year as part of a grand jury investigation into a former Madison official who was a prolific seller of used books on They were looking for buyers who could be witnesses in the case.
  The official, Robert D'Angelo, was indicted last month on fraud, money laundering and tax evasion charges. Prosecutors said he ran a used book business out of his city office and did not report the income. He has pleaded not guilty.
  D'Angelo sold books through the Amazon Marketplace feature, and buyers paid Amazon, which took a commission.
  "We didn't care about the content of what anybody read. We just wanted to know what these business transactions were," prosecutor Vaudreuil said Tuesday. "These were simply business records we were seeking to prove the case of fraud and tax crimes against Mr. D'Angelo."
  The initial subpoena sought records of 24,000 transactions dating back to 1999. The company turned over many records but refused to identify the book buyers, citing their First Amendment right to keep their reading choices private.
  This will be celebrated 'round the blogosphere, but at least based on the press story, I don't think I understand the legal argument behind Judge Crocker's decision. True, there are precedents on the books involving First Amendment limitations on civil subpoenas. But Dan Solove's wishes notwithstanding, I don't think I've ever heard of a First Amendment right to anonymity trumping a grand jury subpoena obtained in a criminal case. The general rule is that if the grand jury issues a subpoena, there's no third party right to assert a First Amendment interest of others against the grand jury subpoena. Or so I have always thought.

  To respond to the comments that will be coming: Yes, of course you can try to extend cases and draw analogies to established principles. And yes, it may be consistent with your view of what the law should become, the fundamental truths of the cosmos, etc. My point is only that, at least off the top of my head, I can't think of a court approaching the law this way until Magistrate Judge Crocker's decision. Anyway, I'm sure someone will post the decision, as it sounds like Judge Crocker was quite eager for it to be public.

  UPDATE: The order is there, via commenter Opus. I'll add a new post on it shortly.