Furor Grows Over Feds Issuing Warrant-Less Subpoenas

A legal conflict is intensifying between federal officials and civil liberties advocates defending Americans’ medical privacy rights in a case that points to the increasingly frequent use by bureaucrats of judge-less, warrant-less subpoenas.

As things stand now, the Drug Enforcement Administration is winning and privacy rights are losing.

“It’s not like there’s ten of them. There’s probably thousands — I know there are thousands,” Matt Barden, spokesman for the DEA, told the Daily Caller News Foundation about the DEA’s use of administrative subpoenas.

Maybe not for much longer. A federal district court in Oregon has ruled against DEA but more recently another federal judge, in Texas, ruled in January in U.S. vs. Zadeh that DEA agents can anonymously issue warrant-less subpoenas to search the medical records of 35 patients of Drs. Joseph and Abbas Zadeh in Dallas.