U.S. Senate to vote on shield law

Dec 11, 2013

By Jessica Conway-Ellis
NNA | Arlington, VA

WASHINGTON—The Shield Law, S 987, is on its way to the Senate for a full vote.

The bill made its way through the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in September. The essential function of the bill is to “shield” journalists by setting forth requirements that must be met before a journalist can be subpoenaed to give up information that is designated as protected by the law.

The current lack of such protection has been of particular note this year, as New York Times journalist James Risen may be poised to serve time for refusing to testify about his sources in his 2006 book “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.” Other journalists, including Fox News reporter James Rosen have also been under investigation for their reporting.

Senate sponsors said they hope the Free Flow of Information Act, S 987, will see a vote on the issue soon. Should the Senate vote in favor of the bill, it would pass to the House of Representatives where its future is uncertain.