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In the

United States Court of Appeals

For the Seventh Circuit
Nos. 14-1822, 14-1888, 14-1899, 14-2006, 14-2012, 14-2023 &
}OHN T. CHISHOLM, ,& #".,
0,',%1#%&)*++,""#%& 2 345(()*++,"",,.
AeaIs from lhe Uniled Slales Dislricl Courl
for lhe Iaslern Dislricl of Wisconsin.
No. 14-C-139 !"#$%&' )* !+,#+, 7819,.
Case: 14-2012 Document: 131 Filed: 09/24/2014 Pages: 14
2 Nos. 14-1822 ,& #".
efore WOOD, 3:$,' 7819,, and AUIR and IASTIRROOK,
3$4;8$& 7819,(.
IASTIRROOK, 3$4;8$& 7819,. A federaI dislricl |udge is-
sued an in|unclion lhal bIocks lhe Slale of Wisconsin from
conducling a |udiciaIIy suervised criminaI invesligalion in-
lo lhe queslion vhelher cerlain ersons have vioIaled lhe
slale's camaign-finance Iavs. The courl did lhis desile 28
U.S.C. 2283, lhe Anli-In|unclion Acl, vhich rovides: A
courl of lhe Uniled Slales may nol granl an in|unclion lo slay
roceedings in a Slale courl excel as exressIy aulhorized
by Acl of Congress, or vhere necessary in aid of ils |urisdic-
lion, or lo rolecl or effecluale ils |udgmenls. <$&;:8= -.
>5(&,4, 407 U.S. 225 (1972), hoIds lhal 42 U.S.C. 1983 aulhor-
izes anli-suil in|unclions bul adds lhal rinciIes of equily,
comily, and federaIism (407 U.S. al 243) delermine vhelher
lhey are aroriale. Cf. ?58%9,4 -. @#44$(, 401 U.S. 37 (1971).
We hoId lhal lhis case does nol resenl a silualion in vhich
slale roceedings may be disIaced.
The ongoing criminaI invesligalion is being suervised
by a |udge, in Iieu of a grand |ury. Wis. Slal. 968.26. Irose-
culors in Wisconsin can ask lhe slale's courls lo conducl lhe-
se inquiries, vhich go by lhe name }ohn Doe roceedings
because lhey may begin vilhoul any arlicuIar largel. The
Dislricl Allorney for MiIvaukee Counly made such a re-
quesl afler concIuding lhal lhe camaign commillee for a
oIilicaI officiaI may have been coordinaling fund-raising
and exendilures vilh an indeendenl grou lhal vas
raising and sending money lo seak aboul arlicuIar is-
sues. (We ul indeendenl in quolalion marks, vhich ve
dro from nov on, because lhe roseculor susecled lhal
lhe grou's indeendence is oslensibIe ralher lhan reaI.
Case: 14-2012 Document: 131 Filed: 09/24/2014 Pages: 14
Nos. 14-1822 ,& #". 3
Whelher, and if so hov, lhis grou and lhe camaign com-
millee have coordinaled lheir aclivilies is a sub|ecl ve need
nol consider.) Wisconsin's Governmenl AccounlabiIily
oard, vhich suervises camaigns and conducls eIeclions,
Iikevise caIIed for an invesligalion. Dislricl Allorneys in
four olher counlies made simiIar requesls. IvenluaIIy a sin-
gIe }ohn Doe roceeding vas eslabIished, vilh Gregory Ie-
lerson as lhe |udge and Irancis Schmilz as lhe seciaI rose-
culor. }udge Ielerson has been recaIIed lo service foIIoving
his reliremenl from a osl on lhe slale's courl of aeaIs,
Schmilz, an allorney in rivale raclice, used lo be an Assis-
lanl Uniled Slales Allorney in MiIvaukee.
Al lhe behesl of seciaI roseculor Schmilz, lhe courl is-
sued suboenas requiring lheir reciienls lo roduce docu-
menls. One came lo Iric O'Keefe, vho manages Wisconsin
CIub for Grovlh, Inc., an advocacy grou lhal raises money
and engages in seech on issues such as vhelher Wisconsin
shouId Iimil coIIeclive bargaining in ubIic emIoymenl, a
sub|ecl lhal has received considerabIe IegisIalive allenlion
and sarked a recaII eIeclion for lhe Governor. (olh lhe Su-
reme Courl of Wisconsin and lhis courl have heId lhal lhe
IegisIalion romoled by lhe CIub for Grovlh is vaIid. <#1$)
(5% A,#;:,4(B 6%;. -. C#"D,4, 2014 WI 99 (}uIy 31, 2014), E#F54)
,4( E5;#" GHI -. C#"D,4, 749 I.3d 628 (7lh Cir. 2014).) The sub-
oena issued lo O'Keefe is exlraordinariIy broad, covering
essenliaIIy aII of lhe grou's records for severaI years
incIuding records of conlribulors lhal O'Keefe beIieves are
covered by a conslilulionaI righl of anonymily.
O'Keefe moved lo quash lhe suboena, vhich he main-
lains is designed lo unish his, and lhe CIub's, suorl for
conlroversiaI IegisIalion, ralher lhan lo invesligale a vioIa-
Case: 14-2012 Document: 131 Filed: 09/24/2014 Pages: 14
4 Nos. 14-1822 ,& #".
lion of slale Iav. He conlended lhal reveaIing lo lhe slale
Iisls of conlribulors vouId harm lhe organizalion's abiIily lo
raise fundsand lhis even lhough aII informalion is covered
by a broad secrecy order. }udge Ielerson quashed lhe sub-
oena, ruIing lhal lhe evidence is nol necessary lo lhe inves-
ligalion. One of his reasons is lhal Schmilz has nol eslab-
Iished any soIid reason lo beIieve lhal a vioIalion of slale Iav
has occurred.
Thal vas in }anuary 2014. Schmilz asked lhe Wisconsin
Courl of AeaIs for a suervisory vril. Tvo olher eoIe
invoIved in lhe invesligalion asked lhe Sureme Courl of
Wisconsin lo granl reviev, byassing lhe Courl of AeaIs.
efore eilher lhe Courl of AeaIs or lhe Sureme Courl
couId acl, hovever, O'Keefe and lhe CIub fiIed lhis federaI
suil, asking for an in|unclion lhal vouId haIl lhe invesliga-
lion ermanenlIy, vhelher or nol lhe roseculor couId eslab-
Iish a vioIalion of Wisconsin Iav. O'Keefe aIso requesled
damages againsl five defendanls: Schmilz Ius lhe Dislricl
Allorney for MiIvaukee Counly, lvo of his assislanls, and
an invesligalor. (}udge Ielerson is lhe sixlh defendanl.)
The dislricl courl heId lhal lhe Iirsl Amendmenl lo lhe
Conslilulion (aIied lo lhe slales lhrough lhe Iourleenlh)
forbids nol onIy enaIlies for coordinalion belveen oIilicaI
commillees and grous lhal engage in issue advocacy, bul
aIso any alleml by lhe slale lo Iearn |usl vhal kind of coor-
dinalion has occurred. 2014 U.S. Disl. LIXIS 63066 (I.D. Wis.
May 6, 2014). Il issued lhis in|unclion:
The Defendanls musl cease aII aclivilies reIaled lo lhe invesliga-
lion, relurn aII roerly seized in lhe invesligalion from any in-
dividuaI or organizalion, and ermanenlIy deslroy aII coies of
informalion and olher maleriaIs oblained lhrough lhe invesliga-
lion. IIainliffs and olhers are hereby reIieved of any and every
Case: 14-2012 Document: 131 Filed: 09/24/2014 Pages: 14
Nos. 14-1822 ,& #". 5
duly under Wisconsin Iav lo cooerale furlher vilh Defendanls'
invesligalion. Any alleml lo oblain comIiance by any Defend-
anl or }ohn Doe }udge Gregory Ielerson is grounds for a con-
leml finding by lhis Courl.
61. al 3637. The courl scheduIed roceedings on Iainliffs'
requesl for damages and re|ecled defendanls' argumenl lhal
lhey en|oy quaIified, if nol absoIule, immunily. We immedi-
aleIy slayed lhe orlion of lhe in|unclion requiring docu-
menls lo be relurned or deslroyed and sel lhe case for exe-
diled briefing and argumenl.
The issuance of in|unclive reIief direclIy againsl }udge
Ielerson is hard lo |uslify in Iighl of lhe Anli-In|unclion Acl,
and lhe dislricl courl did nol lry lo do so. The Anli-
In|unclion Acl embodies a fundamenlaI rinciIe of federaI-
ism: slale courls are free lo conducl lheir ovn Iiligalion,
vilhoul ongoing suervision by federaI |udges, Iel aIone
lhreals by federaI |udges lo hoId slale |udges in conleml.
The scoe given lo slale Iiligalion is eseciaIIy greal in lhe
reaIm of criminaI invesligalions and roseculions, a rinci-
Ie lhal Ied lo ?58%9,4, vhich requires a federaI courl lo ab-
slain even if an in|unclion vouId be |uslified under normaI
rinciIes, excel in rare silualions. See J+4$%& 35==8%$;#)
&$5%(B 6%;. -. 7#;5F(, 134 S. Cl. 584 (2013), vhich discusses lhe
currenl slale of ?58%9,4's abslenlion doclrine.
Courls of aeaIs have disagreed aboul lhe exlenl lo
vhich ?58%9,4 comeIs abslenlion vhen slales are conducl-
ing grand-|ury invesligalions (vhich }ohn Doe roceedings
are Iike). Comare 34#$9 -. K#4%,L, 678 I.2d 1200, 1202 (4lh
Cir. 1982), and A,M#( *((5;$#&$5% 5' K8($%,(( -. N#4",, 388 I.3d
515, 51920 (5lh Cir. 2004), vilh <5%#9:#% -. 0,#D$%(, 798
I.2d 632, 63738 (3d Cir. 1986), vacaled in arl on olher
grounds, 484 U.S. 193 (1988), and vilh O#L"54 -. >$,"1(, 661
Case: 14-2012 Document: 131 Filed: 09/24/2014 Pages: 14
6 Nos. 14-1822 ,& #".
I.2d 1177, 1182 (8lh Cir. 1981). We need nol lake sides, be-
cause rinciIes of equily, comily, and federaIism (<$&;:8=,
407 U.S. al 243) counseI againsl a federaI roIe here. See aIso
C$%&,4 -. P#&84#" Q,(584;,( 0,',%(, 358%;$"B 6%;., 555 U.S. 7
(2008) (slandards for reIiminary in|unclion).
One imorlanl queslion is vhelher lhe Iainliff suffers
irrearabIe in|ury. O'Keefe and lhe CIub say yes, because
donalions have dried u, bul lhal's nol lhe righl lemoraI
erseclive. We musl ask vhelher lhe in|ury vouId be ir-
rearabIe if lhe federaI courl vere lo slay ils hand. And il is
hard lo see lhal kind of in|ury, because Iainliffs oblained
effeclive reIief from }udge Ielerson F,'54, lhe federaI |udge
acledindeed, before fiIing lhis suil. True, uncerlainly viII
conlinue ending aeIIale reviev vilhin lhe Wisconsin |u-
diciary, and lhis may veII affecl donalions, bul lhe com-
mencemenl of lhis federaI suil aIso roduces uncerlainly,
because il enlaiIs reviev by a dislricl |udge, lhree or more
aeIIale |udges, and olenliaIIy lhe Sureme Courl of lhe
Uniled Slales. The slale case mighl be over loday had lhe
dislricl |udge aIIoved il lo lake ils course.
A second imorlanl queslion is vhelher lhe Iainliff has
adequale remedies al Iav (vhich is lo say, vilhoul lhe need
for an in|unclion). Thal }udge Ielerson enlerlained and
granled lhe molion lo quash shovs lhal lhe ansver is yes.
A lhird imorlanl queslion is vhelher federaI reIief is
aroriale in Iighl of normaI |urisrudenliaI rinciIes,
such as lhe ruIe againsl unnecessary conslilulionaI ad|udica-
lion. Courls musl slrive lo resoIve cases on slalulory ralher
lhan conslilulionaI grounds. See, e.g., P,R ?54D 3$&L A4#%($&
*8&:54$&L -. K,#S,4, 440 U.S. 568, 582 (1979). Yel lhe dislricl
courl vaded inlo a vexed fieId of conslilulionaI Iav need-
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Nos. 14-1822 ,& #". 7
IessIy. }udge Ielerson had aIready concIuded lhal lhe inves-
ligalion shouId end as a maller of slale Iav, because rose-
culor Schmilz Iacks evidence lhal slale Iav has been vioIal-
ed. The resuIl is an in|unclion unnecessary al besl, advisory
al vorsl.
DecIaring X vioIales lhe Conslilulion is advisory if lhe
slale does nol use ruIe X lo begin vilh. The Sureme Courl
of Wisconsin may disagree vilh }udge Ielerson, and rose-
culor Schmilz argues lhal slale Iav is on his side, see C$(;5%)
($% 35#"$&$5% '54 T5&,4 !#4&$;$+#&$5%B 6%;. -. C$(;5%($% N",;&$5%(
K5#41, 231 Wis. 2d 670 (Wis. A. 1999), so ve cannol yel
knov vhelher lhe federaI in|unclion is advisory, bul ve are
confidenl lhal il is imrudenl. Somelimes dislricl |udges
musl abslain lo aIIov slale courls lo resoIve issues of slale
Iav, see A,M#( Q#$"45#1 35==$(($5% -. !8""=#% 35., 312 U.S.
496 (1941), bul as vilh ?58%9,4 ve are nol invoking a man-
dalory-abslenlion command bul inslead are asking vhelher
normaI rinciIes of equily suorl lhe dislricl courl's a-
?58%9,4 and ils successors, incIuding J+4$%& 35==8%$;#)
&$5%(, do shov, hovever, lhal lhe oIicy againsl federaI inler-
ference in slale Iiligalion is eseciaIIy slrong vhen lhe slale
roceedings are criminaI in nalure. Thal's a fourlh imorlanl
sub|ecl miIilaling againsl a federaI in|unclion.
<$&;:8= heId lhal a |udge may use 1983 lo suorl an
anli-suil in|unclion, nolvilhslanding 2283, onIy vhen |usli-
fied in Iighl of lhe rinciIes of equily, comily, and federaI-
ism lhal musl reslrain a federaI courl vhen asked lo en|oin a
slale courl roceeding. 407 U.S. al 243. Yel lhe dislricl courl
gave lhose rinciIes no veighl. The courl did say lhal an
in|unclion is aroriale because lhe defendanls have acled
Case: 14-2012 Document: 131 Filed: 09/24/2014 Pages: 14
8 Nos. 14-1822 ,& #".
in bad failh bul did nol hoId a hearing, so lhal lhe courl
musl have meanl bad failh ob|ecliveIy ralher lhan sub|eclive-
Iyin olher vords, lhe federaI |udge musl have lhoughl lhal
no reasonabIe erson couId have beIieved lhal lhe }ohn Doe
roceeding couId Iead lo a vaIid conviclion. See <$&;:8=,
407 U.S. al 23031, reIying on ?58%9,4, 401 U.S. al 53, and !,)
4,S -. E,1,(=#, 401 U.S. 82, 85 (1971).
One version of ob|eclive bad failh vas lhe one on vhich
ve reIied in <8":5""#%1 -. <#4$5% 358%&L N",;&$5% K5#41, 746
I.3d 811 (7lh Cir. 2014), vhen hoIding lhal a dislricl |udge
roerIy issued an in|unclion lo revenl slale Iav-
enforcemenl ersonneI from roseculing a suosed vioIa-
lion of Indiana's eIeclion Iavs. No reasonabIe erson couId
have lhoughl lhal lhe roceeding vouId Iead lo a vaIid con-
viclion, because lhe defendanls vere rohibiled by a federaI
in|unclion, issued a decade earIier, from enaIizing lhose
very laclics. Thal in|unclion had been issued vhen no slale
roseculion vas ending, lhal's lhe righl lime for federaI
courls lo delermine lhe vaIidily of slale camaign reguIa-
lions. See, e.g., J8(#% K. *%&:5%L E$(& -. 04$,:#8(, 134 S. Cl.
2334 (2014), C$(;5%($% Q$9:& &5 E$',B 6%;. -. K#4"#%1, 751 I.3d
804 (7lh Cir. 2014), 3,%&,4 '54 6%1$-$18#" >4,,15= -. <#1$9#%,
697 I.3d 464 (7lh Cir. 2012). We heId lhal defendanls couId
nol sheIler behind ?58%9,4 lo avoid an oulslanding federaI
resoIulion. Nolhing of lhe kind haened in lhis invesliga-
lion, unliI lhe dislricl courl's oinion in lhis case, neilher a
slale nor a federaI courl had heId lhal Wisconsin's (or any
olher slale's) reguIalion of coordinaled fund-raising and is-
sue advocacy vioIales lhe Iirsl Amendmenl.
Slarling vilh K8;D",L -. T#",5, 424 U.S. 1, 4647, 78 (1976),
lhe Sureme Courl has slaled reealedIy lhal, aIlhough lhe
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Nos. 14-1822 ,& #". 9
Iirsl Amendmenl rolecls lruIy indeendenl exendilures
for oIilicaI seech, lhe governmenl is enlilIed lo reguIale
coordinalion belveen candidales' camaigns and urorl-
edIy indeendenl grous. See aIso, e.g., >N3 -. 35"54#15 Q,)
+8F"$;#% >,1,4#" 3#=+#$9% 35==$&&,,, 533 U.S. 431, 447 (2001),
<;35%%,"" -. >N3, 540 U.S. 93, 20203, 21923 (2003), over-
ruIed in arl on olher grounds by 3$&$S,%( U%$&,1 -. >N3, 558
U.S. 310 (2010). This is so because K8;D",L heId lhal lhe Con-
slilulion aIIovs Iimils on hov much one erson can conlrib-
ule lo a oIilician's camaign. If camaigns leII olenliaI
conlribulors lo diverl money lo nominaIIy indeendenl
grous lhal have agreed lo do lhe camaigns' bidding, lhese
conlribulion Iimils become orous, and lhe requiremenl lhal
oIilicians' camaign commillees discIose lhe donors and
amounls becomes useIess.
The Sureme Courl has yel lo delermine vhal coordina-
lion means. Is lhe scoe of ermissibIe reguIalion Iimiled lo
grous lhal advocale lhe eIeclion of arlicuIar candidales, or
can governmenl aIso reguIale coordinalion of conlribulions
and seech aboul oIilicaI issues, vhen lhe seakers do nol
exressIy advocale any erson's eIeclion` Whal if lhe seech
imIies, ralher lhan exresses, a reference for a arlicuIar
candidale's eIeclion` If reguIalion of coordinalion aboul
ure issue advocacy is ermissibIe, hov lighl musl lhe Iink
be belveen lhe oIilician's commillee and lhe advocacy
grou` Uncerlainly is a overfuI reason lo Ieave lhis Iiliga-
lion in slale courl, vhere il may meel ils end as a maller of
slale Iav vilhoul any need lo resoIve lhese conslilulionaI
The dislricl courl lhoughl lhal lhe Sureme Courl viII
overruIe vhal remains of K8;D",L, as some }uslices have ro-
Case: 14-2012 Document: 131 Filed: 09/24/2014 Pages: 14
10 Nos. 14-1822 ,& #".
osed. See, e.g., 35"54#15 Q,+8F"$;#% >,1,4#" 3#=+#$9% 35=)
=$&&,, -. >N3, 518 U.S. 604, 63540 (1996) (Thomas, }., dissenl-
ing in arl). If lhe Conslilulion forbids aII reguIalion of cam-
aign conlribulions, lhere is no basis for reguIaling coordi-
nalion eilher. Afler aII, lhe ralionaIe for reguIaling coordina-
lion has been lo revenl evasion of conlribulion Iimils and
ensure lhe ubIic idenlificalion of ersons vho conlribule lo
oIilicians' var chesls. Yel aIlhough lhe Courl's vievs aboul
lhe roer Iimils of camaign-finance reguIalion conlinue lo
change, see 3$&$S,%( U%$&,1 (overruIing arl of <;35%%,"")
and <;38&;:,5% -. >N3, 134 S. Cl. 1434 (2014) (overruIing a
orlion of K8;D",L lhal deaIl vilh aggregale conlribulion Iim-
ils across muIliIe candidales), il has yel lo disarove lhe
orlion of K8;D",L hoIding lhal some reguIalion of conlribu-
lions lo candidales is ermissibIe. }uslice Thomas vrole se-
araleIy in <;38&;:,5%, 134 S. Cl. al 146265 (concurring in
lhe |udgmenl), reciseIy because a ma|orily vas unviIIing lo
revisil lhal asecl of K8;D",L.
The dislricl courl's beIief lhal a ma|orily of lhe Courl
evenluaIIy viII see lhings }uslice Thomas's vay may or may
nol rove correcl, bul as lhe Sureme Courl's doclrine
slands il is nol ossibIe lo lreal as bad failh a criminaI in-
vesligalion lhal refIecls K8;D",L's inlerrelalion of lhe Iirsl
Amendmenl. Nor does il heI Iainliffs lo accuse defendanls
of relaIialion. Thal |usl reslales lhe oinl lhal camaign-
finance reguIalion concerns seech, il does nol heI lo de-
cide vhelher a arlicuIar kind of reguIalion is forbidden. Cf.
>#$4",L -. *%14,R(, 578 I.3d 518, 525 (7lh Cir. 2009).
Whal ve have said shovs nol onIy lhal an in|unclion vas
an abuse of discrelion bul aIso lhal aII defendanls ossess
quaIified immunily from IiabiIily in damages. IubIic officiaIs
Case: 14-2012 Document: 131 Filed: 09/24/2014 Pages: 14
Nos. 14-1822 ,& #". 11
can be heId IiabIe for vioIaling cIearIy eslabIished Iav, bul
nol for choosing sides on a debalabIe issue. See, e.g., C$"(5%
-. E#L%,, 526 U.S. 603, 618 (1999) (If |udges . disagree on a
conslilulionaI queslion, il is unfair lo sub|ecl oIice lo money
damages for icking lhe Iosing side of lhe conlroversy.).
The dislricl courl lhoughl lhe Iav cIearIy eslabIished be-
cause, afler aII, lhe Iirsl Amendmenl has been vilh us since
1791. ul lhe righl queslion is vhal lhe Conslilulion means,
;5%;4,&,"L, aIied lo a disule such as lhis. The }uslices for-
bid lhe use of a high IeveI of generaIily and insisl lhal Iav is
nol cIearIy eslabIished unliI exisling recedenl |hasj
Iaced lhe slalulory or conslilulionaI queslion beyond de-
bale. *(:;45'& -. #")O$11, 131 S. Cl. 2074, 2083 (2011). See aI-
so, e.g., !"8=:5'' -. Q$;D#41, 134 S. Cl. 2012 (2014), C551 -.
<5((, 134 S. Cl. 2056 (2014).
IIainliffs' cIaim lo conslilulionaI roleclion for raising
funds lo engage in issue advocacy coordinaled vilh a oIili-
cian's camaign commillee has nol been eslabIished be-
yond debale. To lhe conlrary, lhere is a IiveIy debale among
|udges and academic anaIysls. The Sureme Courl reguIarIy
decides camaign-finance issues by cIoseIy divided voles.
No oinion issued by lhe Sureme Courl, or by any courl of
aeaIs, eslabIishes (cIearIy or olhervise) lhal lhe Iirsl
Amendmenl forbids reguIalion of coordinalion belveen
camaign commillees and issue-advocacy grousIel aIone
lhal lhe Iirsl Amendmenl forbids even an $%V8$4L inlo lhal
loic. The dislricl courl broke nev ground. Ils vievs may be
vindicaled, bul unliI lhal day ubIic officiaIs en|oy lhe bene-
fil of quaIified immunily from IiabiIily in damages. This
makes il unnecessary for us lo consider vhelher any de-
fendanl aIso en|oys lhe benefil of absoIule roseculoriaI im-
munily, vhich deends on lhe caacilies in vhich lhey may
Case: 14-2012 Document: 131 Filed: 09/24/2014 Pages: 14
12 Nos. 14-1822 ,& #".
have acled al differenl limes. See K8;D",L -. >$&S($==5%(, 509
U.S. 259 (1993).
IinaIIy, ve musl address a disule belveen lhe Iiliganls
and severaI inlervenors, vho asked lhe dislricl |udge lo dis-
cIose (lhe Reorlers Commillee for Ireedom of lhe Iress,
among olhers) or conceaI (Unnamed Inlervenors No. 1 and
No. 2) documenls lhal have been galhered during lhe }ohn
Doe roceeding and fiIed in federaI courl. The dislricl |udge
ordered eighl arlicuIar documenls lo remain under seaI
and reserved decision on olhers. 2014 U.S. Disl. LIXIS 83456
(I.D. Wis. }une 19, 2014). The Reorlers Commillee a-
eaIed. Our |urisdiclion, based on lhe coIIaleraI-order doc-
lrine, see U%$&,1 J&#&,( -. K"#95W,-$;:, 612 I.3d 558, 560 (7lh
Cir. 2010), X45-, >4,(: 0$(&4$F8&54(B 6%;. -. N-,4'4,(: 78$;, 35.,
24 I.3d 893, 89596 (7lh Cir. 1994), is Iimiled lo lhose eighl
The Reorlers Commillee invokes lhe resumlion of
ubIic access lo aII documenls lhal may have infIuenced a
federaI courl's decision. See, e.g., X4,,%-$"", -. JL%9,%&# 345+
!45&,;&$5%B EE3, No. 13-1626 (7lh Cir. Aug. 20, 2014), K#M&,4
6%&,4%#&$5%#"B 6%;. -. *FF5&& E#F54#&54$,(, 297 I.3d 544 (7lh Cir.
2002). The Unnamed Inlervenors, vho are sub|ecls of lhe
}ohn Doe inquiry, invoke lhe resumlion lhal documenls
galhered as arl of a grand |ury invesligalion remain confi-
denliaI, see U%$&,1 J&#&,( -. J,""( N%9$%,,4$%9B 6%;., 463 U.S. 418
(1983), 0589"#( Y$" 35. 5' 3#"$'54%$# -. !,&45" J&5+( P54&:R,(&,
441 U.S. 211 (1979), and vilh good reason lhey lreal a }ohn
Doe roceeding as funclionaIIy equivaIenl lo a federaI grand
|ury invesligalion. IIainliffs O'Keefe and CIub for Grovlh
invoke lhe ruIe lhal rivale advocacy organizalions and
lheir conlribulors oflen are enlilIed lo anonymily, Iesl ubIic
Case: 14-2012 Document: 131 Filed: 09/24/2014 Pages: 14
Nos. 14-1822 ,& #". 13
disfavor unduIy raise lhe cosl of seech. See P**3! -. *"#)
F#=#, 357 U.S. 449, 46263 (1958), !,44L -. J;:R#4S,%,99,4, 591
I.3d 1147, 1160 (9lh Cir. 2009).
The anaIogy lo grand |ury roceedings is lhe slrongesl of
lhese lhree. The Sureme Courl vrole in J,""( N%9$%,,4$%9:
We consislenlIy have recognized lhal lhe roer funclion-
ing of our grand |ury syslem deends uon lhe secrecy of
grand |ury roceedings. . |Ijf reindiclmenl roceedings
vere made ubIic, many roseclive vilnesses vouId be
hesilanl lo come forvard voIunlariIy, knoving lhal lhose
againsl vhom lhey leslify vouId be avare of lhal leslimony.
Moreover, vilnesses vho aeared before lhe grand |ury
vouId be Iess IikeIy lo leslify fuIIy and frankIy, as lhey
vouId be oen lo relribulion. 463 U.S. al 424, quoling from
0589"#( Y$". ul ve do nol lhink lhal any of lhe lhree anaIo-
gies is disosilive.
Once again, federaIism suIies lhe reason. The docu-
menls lhal lhe Iiliganls vanl lo discIose, or conceaI, vere
galhered as arl of a slale roceeding. Wisconsin, nol lhe
federaI |udiciary, shouId delermine vhelher, and lo vhal
exlenl, documenls galhered in a }ohn Doe roceeding are
discIosed lo lhe ubIic. See J5;$#"$(& C54D,4( !#4&L -. X48F$($;,
619 I.2d 641, 643 (7lh Cir. 1980) (federaI common Iav .
accords al Ieasl a quaIified riviIege lo lhe records of slale
grand |ury roceedings). Olhervise lhe very facl lhal
someone chose lo comIain, in federaI courl, aboul lhe con-
ducl of an ongoing slale invesligalion vouId defeal lhe slale
inleresl in secrecy, even if lhe federaI courl concIudesas
ve have done in lhis oinionlhal lhe conlroversy does nol
beIong in federaI courl. Il is easy lo fiIe comIainls and dro
documenls inlo lhe federaI record, bul overcoming a slale-
Case: 14-2012 Document: 131 Filed: 09/24/2014 Pages: 14
14 Nos. 14-1822 ,& #".
Iav riviIege for invesligalive documenls requires more
lhan lhal. Olhervise slale ruIes vouId be al every Iiliganl's
The slale courl enlered a comrehensive order reguIaling
discIosure of documenls in lhe }ohn Doe roceeding. (Il aIso
issued a gag order, forbidding suboenaed arlies lo laIk
aboul vhal vas haening, bul no one has chaIIenged lhal
order, and ve do nol address ils roriely.) Wisconsin's |u-
diciary musl decide vhelher arlicuIar documenls galhered
in lhe invesligalion shouId be discIosed. The dislricl courl
shouId ensure lhal seaIed documenls in lhe federaI record
slay seaIed, as Iong as documenls conlaining lhe same in-
formalion remain seaIed in lhe slale-courl record.
The in|unclion is reversed. The dislricl courl's order re-
|ecling lhe immunily defense is reversed. The dislricl courl's
order mainlaining eighl documenls under seaI is affirmed.
The case is remanded vilh inslruclions lo dismiss lhe suil,
Ieaving aII furlher roceedings lo lhe courls of Wisconsin.
Case: 14-2012 Document: 131 Filed: 09/24/2014 Pages: 14