07.09.13

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On Meeting with Attorney General Holder Regarding Review of Justice Department Press Guidelines

“The Committee had a good and constructive meeting with the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General to discuss proposed revisions to the Justice Department’s guidelines for requesting information from the news media.  In an open society, a free press is essential to guaranteeing the public’s right to know.  That is why the burden is always on the government, when it seeks information about the press or confidential sources, to protect freedom of speech and First Amendment rights.  I commend the President and the Attorney General for undertaking this review and I look forward to the Attorney General’s report to the President.

“For many years, I have worked with others in Congress to enact a balanced media shield law that would establish a limited privilege for journalists to protect their sources and the public's right to know.  As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2007, I moved to consider the first media shield bill and worked with Committee members to favorably report it.  This month the Committee will begin consideration of the most recent version of that legislation, the Free Flow of Information Act, S. 987.  I support this legislation and I look forward to the Committee considering it in the coming weeks.”

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