EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Friday, July 19, 2013

Breaking News: Reporter’s Privilege Claim Rejected by Fourth Circuit

Opinion here

From the majority:

“There is no First Amendment testimonial privilege, absolute or qualified, that protects a reporter from being compelled to testify by the prosecution or the defense in criminal proceedings about criminal conduct that the reporter personally witnessed or participated in, absent a showing of bad faith, harassment, or other such non-legitimate motive, even though the reporter promised confidentiality to his source.”

“we hold that there is no First Amendment or federal common-law privilege that protects Risen from having to respond to the government’s subpoena and give what evidence he has of the criminal conduct at issue”

From the dissent:

“The majority reads narrowly the law governing the protection of a reporter from revealing his sources, a decision that is, in my view, contrary to the will and wisdom of our Founders.”

More coverage here

UPDATE and at Prawfsblog here

Next stop Supreme Court? 

- JB


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