Covenant School Judge Nonsensically Claims Manifesto Is Copyrighted and Will Remain Hidden

AP Photo/John Amis

Right before midnight on Thursday, July 4th, a Nashville judge named I'Ashea Myles ruled that the Covenant School shooter's manifesto cannot be released to the public. Her ruling is 60 pages of repetitive language and nonsensical misapprehension of law and fact. She denied the release of the murderer’s manifesto on the basis of the canard of an “ongoing” criminal investigation and a new theory — the writings seized as evidence from the murderer are protected from disclosure because the entire collection is copyrighted. 


All those claims are nonsense.  

The first claim is complete claptrap. The Covenant School mass shooting took place in March 2023, 15 months ago. There is no evidence of a conspiracy. There is no evidence that the murderer had help in any form or fashion. There is no "ticking timebomb." She acted alone. In 15 months, not a shred of evidence has been produced that would warrant an “open” investigation. The killer is dead. The investigation is dead. 

The second claim is also nonsense. Myles claimed that because the murderer’s parents assigned “all copyright” rights to the parents of Covenant children, they had a right to shield the writings from disclosure. Although Tennessee has a public disclosure law that requires the release of public documents (with few exceptions), Myles claimed for the first time in Tennessee history that copyright holders (who are assignees) can prevent the release of evidence because they have an assigned right.  

Again, it’s nonsense.  

She wrote

“School shootings and violence have unfortunately become commonplace in our society.... Further, where the United States Congress has spoken, as the supreme law of the land, even the laws enacted in Tennessee must yield to their supremacy.”  


Notwithstanding the clunky grammar, her reasoning is nonsense. 

On page 50, she noted exceptions to prevent disclosure of “public” documents. She cited several exemption examples, including out-of-state case law, all of which discuss documents that fall within a specific exemption – that being academic, scientific, or instructional research. Pedagogic or scientific work product. In other words, she equated a murderer's assassination scribblings with the work of academics. Specifically, actual work product. It is absolute nonsense.  

Myles also noted that she didn’t want school safety protocol to be disclosed. More nonsense. That information was disclosed the day after when security video from the school was publicly released, and news reports described how the killer got in. 

Deb Fisher, the executive director of Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, said:   

“She applied that [exemption] very broadly. And I do believe the school security exemption is supposed to be things like, ‘we don’t want other people to know how to break into this school,’ right? That’s really what that’s about. It’s not about, ‘Hey, this person did this crazy thing, and other people want to be a copycat.’”

Myles further opined


In this case, the Tennessee General Assembly has set forth both state law exceptions and statutory which will prevent the disclosure of materials held by the Respondent not only to preserve the criminal legal system and the integrity of ongoing investigations but also to keep from public view information which is related to school security coming from any source. 


Myles is a 2014 graduate of a local law school that opened its doors in 2011. She was a member of the first graduating class. In eight years of practice, she worked for three law firms before becoming a judge.  

Myles has a TikTok account and an Instagram account (now private) in which she lets the world know she’s a judge. I have friends who are judges. None of them have even a Facebook account. None of them reached the bench within eight years of law school.

Much of, if not all, of her nonsense ruling has been “preempted” by facts. A substantial portion of the murderer’s material has already been seen, released by anonymous officials incensed by the “ongoing investigation” myth. There is no “ongoing” investigation. The motives of the murderer are abundantly clear. She was a Christian-hating transgender. The copyright claim and the judge’s reasoning are absurd. Plenty of transgender mass murderers have committed their murders without the benefit of the Covenant School manifesto.


The reason Myles went to tortured ends to come up with her absurd reasons for not releasing the material seems obvious to me. The Covenant School murderer was an avowed Christian-hating transgender nut. That fact must be whitewashed at all costs. Public disclosure might endanger an agenda.

I rest my case.



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