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Senate’s turn to protect confidential sources

Post by Kim Bradford on July 21, 2008 at 7:06 am with No Comments »
July 21, 2008 7:06 am

The push is on to pass a federal shield law by a veto-proof margin before Congress adjourns for the August recess.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised to take up the bill before lawmakers leave on their break. The legislation enjoys widespread support among House members (who passed it on a 398-21 vote), 42 state attorneys general and both presidential candidates.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration continues its fearmongering, somehow claiming that letting journalists do their jobs is a threat to national security. (Keep in mind that the bill makes exceptions for acts of terrorism and other harm to national security, as well as information needed to prevent death or bodily harm.)

As we said earlier this year, the public benefits most from shield laws. Compelling journalists to break confidences undermines their ability to protect vulnerable sources from retribution and to uncover information the public needs to know.

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