Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew P. Napolitano falsely claimed that Florida prosecutors "did not go to a judge to get a search warrant" to obtain the medical records of radio host Rush Limbaugh, who was under investigation over allegations that he had illegally obtained multiple prescriptions for painkillers. In fact, as The Palm Beach Post reported, Limbaugh's medical records were seized through search warrants that "were obtained after investigators showed a judge Limbaugh's extensive prescription records from pharmacies near his $24 million Palm Beach mansion."
Limbaugh's attorney, Roy Black, recently argued before the Florida Supreme Court that "patients should be notified before their medical records are seized or inspected" [Associated Press, 1/20/05], but he did not challenge the validity of the warrant. Florida's 4th District Court of Appeal ruled in October 2004 that Limbaugh's medical records were properly seized [Associated Press, 10/6/04].
Napolitano contrasted Limbaugh's situation with recent attempts by Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline to subpoena the medical records of women who had obtained abortions in the state, but he falsely claimed that the Florida prosecutors in the Limbaugh case "just went to his doctors and grabbed the records" without first obtaining a search warrant.
From the March 3 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
NAPOLITANO: In the Rush Limbaugh case with his drug problems, the government did not go to a judge to get a search warrant. That's what his whole case is about. They just went to his doctors and grabbed the records.
The application for one search warrant for Limbaugh's medical records can be viewed at The Smoking Gun.