Monday, June 27, 2005

Supreme Court Rulings

The Supreme Court ruling against Judith Miller and Matt Cooper in a reports right to not reveal their sources is getting talked about a lot.

I could be way off base here and out of my league, because my knowledge of law basically comes from watching Law and Order. But don't doctors have doctor-patient confidentiality? And priests? But if there's a good reason, can't police get a court order for the doctors and priests to talk? I mean, in general, there's a privacy clause, but when the going gets tough it can be overridden if a court deems it important enough?

Why can't this work for reporters too? The issue here is the Valerie Plame case. She was a CIA undercover agent, who was outed as an agent after her husband came out versus the Iraq war. Outing a CIA agent is a treasonous act, so shouldn't the reporters have to give up their sources if they know who leaked the information. (Miller and Cooper weren't the reporters who printed the leak, that was Robert Novak, Miller's and Cooper's sources have something to do with Novak's, I'm not really sure, read this).

Back to my point, why can't reporters give source confidentiality, and they'll keep it unless a court has a reason for them to give it up? No one has really mentioned this, so I think I'm missing something.

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