New Senate Bill Defines Journalist – Independent Media Excluded
September 13, 2013
Senator Patrick Leahy, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) was thrilled that the group approved a new proposal for consideration that would create a federal media shield (FMS) that could provide security to media journalists that do not want to reveal their confidential sources.
Called the Free Flow of Information Act (FFIA), the 13-5 vote secured that there would be a FMS for 1st Amendment rights of the press.
Leahy said: “I was brought up in a family that thought the First Amendment was probably the most important part of the Constitution. My parents owned a printing business. The First Amendment was a touchstone to them, and it is to me.
This bill carefully balances the need to protect confidential source information with the need to protect law enforcement and national security interests, so that we can better protect the American people’s right to know.”
According to the text of the bill: “Conditions for Compelled Disclosure- In any proceeding or in connection with any issue arising under Federal law, a Federal entity may not compel a covered person to comply with a subpoena, court order, or other compulsory legal process seeking to compel the disclosure of protected information, unless a Federal court in the jurisdiction where the subpoena, court order, or other compulsory legal process has been or would be issued determines, after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard to such covered person.”