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
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2014 @ 10:14pm

    Comparison between USA today and Nazi Germany of yesterday

    Even a lowly alien understands the connection between Nazi Germany and the USA. Nazi Germany (Adolf and his buddies) took inspiration from the USA of fore for many of their policies, particularly from the wealthy of the day. What has occurred over the last century in the USA is a build up of those policies that led to the rise of National Socialism.

    This site regularly highlights the sense of privilege that various sections of your society have in ruling over the masses.

    How long this situation will last will depend on how long all levels within your society are willing to keep the status quo.

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