John McCain's endorsement this week of a federal shield law for journalists has given renewed momentum to the Free Flow of Information Act pending in Congress (S 2035). At the same time, the U.S. Department of Justice has renewed its offensive against the bill with the launch of a special section of its Web site devoted to its opposition and an op-ed in USA Today by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey. The debate takes on greater urgency as former USA Today reporter Toni Locy awaits word from a federal appeals court on whether she will be forced to pay contempt fines of $5,000 a day for protecting her sources.
We discuss the journalists' privilege and the need for a federal shield law in this week's episode of the legal-affairs podcast Lawyer2Lawyer. Joining my co-host J. Craig Williams and me as guests on the program are three experts in constitutional and media law:
- Lucy Dalglish, a lawyer and executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
- Geoffrey R. Stone, the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor and former dean at the University of Chicago Law School
- Joel Kurtzberg, a partner with the firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP who frequently represents reporters and news organizations
In the program, we discuss the federal bill, high-profile cases involving reporters, states’ efforts to enact their own shield laws, and the rights of journalists and bloggers. The program can be streamed or downloaded from this page.You can stay up to date with all Lawyer2Lawyer programs by subscribing via RSS or through iTunes.