Supreme Court Won't Hear Reporter's Appeal; James Risen May Now Face Jail For Not Revealing Sources

from the shameful dept

Unfortunately, it appears that the Supreme Court has decided not to hear reporter James Risen's appeal in the case in which he has been subpoenaed to testify, concerning CIA leaks. Risen had refused to testify, claiming that as a reporter he was entitled to keep his sources confidential. Last summer, the 4th Circuit appeals court said that Risen could be compelled to testify and to give up his sources. The court refused a request to rehear the case en banc (with a full slate of judges, rather than just a 3 judge panel). He then appealed to the Supreme Court, leading to today's rejection.

The DOJ, of course, had vigorously argued that the Supreme Court should reject Risen's appeal (ridiculously, it did this the same day the State Department launched a "free the press" campaign). Last week, we noted that some were interpreting Eric Holder's comments to mean that he would not seek jail time for Risen, should he continue to refuse to testify, but a closer reading of Holder's comments said no such thing.

It appears we may now find out the truth. If Risen continues to protect his sources, the ball will be in the DOJ's court: will it give up or will it pursue throwing a widely respected reporter in jail? One would hope that a basic sense of common decency would lead the DOJ to give up this ridiculous fight, but the DOJ doesn't have much of a history of common decency.

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  1. identicon
    bob, 2 Jun 2014 @ 1:45pm

    people vs press vs govt

    In this case I have to agree that (most) people don't have a high care factor for freedom of the press.
    but the press certainly does.
    so I kind of hope that he does go to jail, to see if that will be enough to put the press on a confrontational footing with the govt. hopefully leading to some changes in opinion of the govt by the people.
    which is one step towards changing the govt.
    just 999 more steps to go.
    (not referencing the 9-9-9 plan) :-P

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