Senate Dents Shield Law for Reporters

September 23, 2009

A bill that would set up protections shielding reporters from having to disclose confidential sources was slowed and weakened in the Senate September 17, 2009.

A de facto filibuster by several Republicans, plus quibbling by some Democrats, caused a long-awaited markup of the bill (S 448) to end with no action.

The House has already passed such a bill (HR 985), in March 2009.

Among the amendments approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee was one excluding bloggers from shield law protections.

SEJ is among some 70 journalism organizations supporting passage of a strong federal shield law.