by Mike Masnick
Fri, Oct 18th 2013 3:56pm
In July, we wrote about a worrisome ruling by an appeals court, that said that NYTimes reporter James Risen could be compelled to give up his sources by putting him on the witness stand in a whistleblower case. Risen is, quite reasonably, arguing that Constitutional protections for a free press should prevent him from having to reveal sources. The appeals court panel had ruled two-to-one against Risen and in favor of the government. Risen asked the entire appeals court to rehear the appeal (a so-called "en banc" rehearing), but the Fourth Circuit appeals court has rejected the request by an overwhelming majority: 13-to-1. The one vote in favor of rehearing the appeal was, not surprisingly, the sole judge who sided with Risen in the original ruling, Roger Gregory. The case isn't over yet, as Risen will almost certainly ask the Supreme Court to hear the appeal. And, given the subject area, one hopes that the Supreme Court will agree to take the case. But, for now, we're left in a world where the government continues to have way too much power over a supposedly free press in their ongoing war against whistleblowers.
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