Journalists frequently are faced with subpoenas and court orders requiring them to testify and, in many instances, to reveal the identity of confidential sources or unpublished information. Journalists and news organizations are reliant on state statutes or state or federal case law to provide a privilege against testimony in state or federal courts or administrative proceedings.
MLRC has collected a variety of materials on the reporter’s privilege, including information regarding efforts to enact a federal shield law, proposed state shield laws, existing state shield law statutes, and recent federal and state cases involving the privilege.
Proposed Federal Shield Law Bills
Click here for information about past proposed Federal Shield Law Bills.
Recent Federal Reporter's Privilege Cases
Convertino v. Department of Justice - Privacy Act case
Hatfill v. Ashcroft - Privacy Act case
Wen Ho Lee v. Department of Justice - Privacy Act case
In re: Grand Jury Subpoena - Judith Miller, Matthew Cooper and Time Inc.
In re: Special Proceedings - James Taricani
Click here for other recent federal cases.
Historical Reporter's Privilege Case: Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972)
Decision, concurrances and dissents - findlaw.com
Oral argument recording - oyez.com
Department of Justice Guidelines
Click here for Department of Justice Guidelines.
U.S. v. Wuterich
US Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (En Banc) - Aug. 31, 2009
Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces - Nov. 17, 2008
US Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals - June 20, 2008
U.S. v. Maziarz - June 12, 2009