Media Shield Law Passes Senate Judiciary

By October 4, 2007Media Relations

Following our post on the topic earlier in the day, from Congressional Quarterly’s Midday Update:

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday to establish a federal shield law for journalists, but it faces obstacles to Senate passage.

The panel voted 15-2 to approve the bill (S 2035) by Arlen Specter, R-Pa., after grappling with several amendments offered by Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. The committee adopted some of Kyl’s amendments but rejected others.

Proponents of the measure say it is necessary to protect reporters who find it difficult or impossible to obtain vital information about official wrongdoing and other sensitive subjects unless they can promise their sources confidentiality. Opponents argue that a federal shield law could hamstring law enforcement officials seeking to prevent acts of terrorism or uncover unlawful leaks of classified information.

Haven’t yet heard about the provisions that could affect trade secrets or other proprietary information, a key concern of business (and those who believe in property rights).

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