More support for Federal Shield Laws

Boston Globe: Judith Miller's word

Excerpt: "Many reporters do not seek an absolute protection. In rare instances when an informant has committed a violent crime or given up a claim to confidentiality, society's interest in knowing the source of information may prevail. But in the great majority of cases, reporters must be able to promise anonymity credibly or they will not get information.

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart proposed sensible guidelines in 1972. Prosecutors should be able to pursue sources, he suggested, only if they could demonstrate that the information was relevant, not obtainable any other way, and involved a case of compelling and overriding public interest. Unfortunately, Stewart was dissenting in Branzburg v. Hayes; the majority opinion found no right of confidentiality, at least in criminal cases.

Judith Miller carried an important journalistic tool with her to jail. Congress should protect Miller, and the national interest."

This is encouraging as more and more journalists and editors speak out in support of some type of Federal Shield Law. Bloggers are speaking out as well. Federal Shield Laws now!

Read my prior posts here and here.