Well, I don't! http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/local_news/epaper/2005/04/29/m1a_limbaugh_0429.html High court rejects Limbaugh appeal By Susan Spencer-Wendel Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Friday, April 29, 2005 The Florida Supreme Court shut down Rush Limbaugh's yearlong privacy fight Thursday, declining to hear the conservative talk show king's claim that local prosecutors seized his medical records illegally. The decision puts Limbaugh back near square one and is likely to reinvigorate the criminal investigation into whether he "doctor-shopped." The Supreme Court split in a 4-3 decision. The justices did not explain their reasoning, but they wrote that they would not consider Limbaugh's case again. Roy Black, Limbaugh's attorney, mentioned no other possible appeal in a statement to the media. Black seemed to concede that the medical records will become part of the case, saying they will vindicate Limbaugh. "His medical records will show that he received legitimate medical treatment for legitimate medical reasons," Black said. "Only those who have suffered the long-term agony of chronic, severe pain will understand what Mr. Limbaugh was going through and why the appropriate medical treatment for his pain was so important." The American Civil Liberties Union, Limbaugh's unlikely ally in his effort to keep his medical records private, said the Supreme Court's decision was the end of the battle for the organization. ACLU attorney Jon May said he could envision no future appeals. Limbaugh, 54, has not been charged with a crime but is under investigation for alleged doctor-shopping, or seeking duplicate prescriptions from doctors a felony prosecuted only once before in Palm Beach County. Limbaugh, who lives in Palm Beach, decries the investigation as a political fishing expedition led by State Attorney Barry Krischer, a Democrat. It started, though, when Limbaugh's maid told prosecutors about huge quantities of prescription drugs she sold Limbaugh over the years. After the maid sold her story to the National Enquirer, Krischer's office began getting search warrants to seize Limbaugh's medical records. Krischer's office declined to comment on the Supreme Court decision Thursday except to say Limbaugh is the subject of an "ongoing criminal investigation." Limbaugh did not host his nationally syndicated radio show Thursday. He was off for a prescheduled appointment with an ear specialist, having work done on the device that restored his hearing. Limbaugh has publicly acknowledged ongoing treatment for prescription drug addiction. Since late 2003, the investigation has appeared dormant while Limbaugh's privacy challenge wended through the courts. At issue was how the records were taken: Investigators obtained warrants and went into offices and took them. Limbaugh argued the records should have been subpoenaed and he should have been notified before they were seized. He parlayed the issue into a privacy rights crusade for all people. ACLU attorney May emphasized that Limbaugh still has an option available that most citizens would not. The case likely will end up back in front of Circuit Judge Jeffrey Winikoff, who may look at the medical records in chambers and decide which are pertinent, rather than releasing all of them to prosecutors. The 4th District Court of Appeal had suggested this approach in its ruling against Limbaugh. "We're happy for Mr. Limbaugh, but the citizens of Florida do not have the same protection," May said of a records review by Winikoff. "Most people will not learn ahead of time that their records have been seized." Legal scholars had mixed reactions to the Supreme Court rejection of the Limbaugh case, with some saying it was a legal quandary the court should have decided. Lois Shepherd, a Florida State University associate professor of law who specializes in health-care issues, said she was surprised by the high court's decision. Medical-records privacy is a growing issue and "some statement from the Supreme Court is due," she said. For now, Limbaugh's medical records sit in an evidence box at the Palm Beach County Courthouse. Neither side would say when it might be opened.