Bipartisan Bill To Shield Media Sources Proposed
July 18, 2013 at 5:30 AM (PT)
Senators CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY) and LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-DC) have crafted a bipartisan media shield bill that would enact recent JUSTICE DEPARTMENT guidelines, POLITICO reports. It would protect the media from discloses sources or revealing information and require courts to "apply a balancing test before compelling disclosure" from journalists.
The bill would also require reporters’ be notified within 90 days of their records being reviewed by the DOJ and require the courts to arbitrate JUSTICE’s media records requests. However, journalists aren't given absolute privilege; exceptions include leaks to journalists could be used to prevent terrorism attacks and/or deaths and kidnappings in non-national security cases.
Last week, the JUSTICE DEPT. released new guidelines stating that journalists’ records can be collected only if the reporter is the subject of a criminal investigation, passage of this bill would ensure future administrations couldn't overturn it. The DOJ has signaled its support for the bill. While The White House had no immediate comment, SEN. SCHUMER believed the White House would be supportive of it -- and that chances of the bill becoming law "are high."
The JUDICIARY COMMITTEE will take up the bill before the SENATE breaks for AUGUST recess.