Coming to his constitutional senses, Judge Jeffrey White reversed his previous injunctions against the Wikileaks whistleblowing site. Wikileaks had been offline at wikileaks.org, although it had been available at other servers around the world, including wikileaks.be. From Reuters:
"There are serious questions of prior restraint and possible violations of the First Amendment," U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ruled from the bench in his San Francisco courtroom.
"The court has serious questions whether those concerns raised before the court make the granting of the relief requested by the plaintiffs constitutionally appropriate," he added.
"When this genie gets out of the bottle, it's out for all purposes," U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said after a more than 3-hour-long hearing here. Earier, White said he had "an obligation to get it right" and that "I took an oath to uphold the Constitution."
About 30 minutes into the hearing, he said, the case concerned "very important issues" and that "the court does not want to be a part of any order that is not constitutional."
"The court has the obligation to get it right," White had told attorneys for Bank Julius Baer, or BJB, earlier Friday. "I took an obligation to uphold the Constitution. The court has its own obligation to raise these issues. Contrary to what you say, my obligation is to look down the road and see where this thing is going." BJB also said, "We're talking about private banking information, account numbers, personal numbers like Social Security numbers...all this is private information that's not newsworthy...None of the publishers here today would want their own banking information posted on the Internet." The judge's preruling reply: "Let me play devil's advocate here. Is it newsworthy if some prominent citizen is...evading taxes, laundering funds? Wouldn't that be something in the public interest?"