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View Diary: As scandalgate fizzles, the village talks overreach (226 comments)

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  •  You don't know what the First Amendment says (0+ / 0-)

    You cannot issue a Warrant to a journalist compelling him/her to disclose sources.  

    Here is Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press wrote:

    "In the thirty years since the Department issued guidelines governing its subpoena practice as it relates to phone records from journalists, none of us can remember an instance where such an overreaching dragnet for news gathering materials was deployed by the Department, particularly without notice to the affected reporters or an opportunity to seek judicial review.

    "The scope of this action calls into question the very integrity of Department of Justice policies toward the press and its ability to balance, on its own, its police powers against the First Amendment rights of the news media and the public's interest in reporting on all manner of government conduct, including matters touching on national security which lie at the heart of this case."

    (h/t Glenn Greenwald)

    Call your representative and senators and the white house (lack of capitalization intended) to STOP this crazy warmongering with Iran, please.

    by Indiana Bob on Tue May 21, 2013 at 05:44:59 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong. And your quote in fact supports me, to wit: (0+ / 0-)

      It does not say 'the 1st A exempts the media from the 4th'.  No one is exempt from forced production of evidence if the legal need is serious enough and its not a (generally) self-incrimination violation, e.g. a criminal prosecutions, not even the President of the US as Nixon found out. See, US v. Nixon.  Every other privilege can be pierced under the right circumstances.  

      All your source says is: they disagree with the wisdom of this policy decision and lack of notice.  Not that they were required by law.  DOJ guidelines are not law.  

      BTW, most of the quote is just self-serving inflammatory rhetoric, e.g., 'overreaching dragnet', 'the very integrity of', 'its ability to balance, on its own'.  It certainly says what the Committe wants the law to be, but does not state the actual law as it is.  

      If the law actually supported them, they'd be citing it, in court, for damages.

      •  One amendment does not supercede another (0+ / 0-)

        You can't do this by any stretch of the imagination.  "Make no Law" means make no law, so the 4th does not apply since you can't assert probably cause for something that isn't a crime in the first place.

        IT IS NOT ILLEGAL FOR A REPORTER TO PUBLISH CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.   It is illegal for the person who got the docs to give it to the press.  What the Obama DOJ is asserting is that they can go after journalist for "soliciting" classified information, something they do all the time.

        The Washington Post article describes this attack on the First Amendment

        Here is what the Warrant claims, this is outrageous:

        Reyes wrote that there was evidence Rosen had broken the law, 'at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator'. That fact distinguishes his case from the probe of the AP, in which the news organization is not the likely target. Using italics for emphasis, Reyes explained how Rosen allegedly used a 'covert communications plan' and quoted from an e-mail exchange between Rosen and Kim that seems to describe a secret system for passing along information. . . . However, it remains an open question whether it's ever illegal, given the First Amendment's protection of press freedom, for a reporter to solicit information. No reporter, including Rosen, has been prosecuted for doing so.
        Do you agree that the government should be able to assert that a reporter can have his/her emails searched because they solicit classified information, the very heart of the First Amendment press freedom?

        Call your representative and senators and the white house (lack of capitalization intended) to STOP this crazy warmongering with Iran, please.

        by Indiana Bob on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:19:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  1st A is not absolute, regardless I too think 'No (0+ / 0-)

          law' should mean none SCOTUS has made clear it really means 'many laws just in limited circumstances'.

          And both the remainder or the comment and your questions confirm that it is 1) not the legality but the wisdom of DOJs acts that are at issue, and 2) if there is legal fault in granting this warrant, it lies with the judge who granted it not DOJ, who like any lawyer was free to make any argument - no matter how bs we think it - without violating the law.  Further, the problem with DOJs assertion is not that it is illegal, but that it may be legal bc of the absurd breath of US conspiracy laws (many nations do not even have conspiracy criminal offenses).

          Also, it may well be illegal to publish classified material.  Indeed, that is an inevitable consequence of classification, since the statutes make release of smae a crime.  Where you are confused is that the 1st A may trump the statute creating a 'safe harbor' for the media.  I.e., it is essentially a defense.

          Finally, whether I agree or not, it is the LAW, bc of SCOTUS decisions, that anyone , not just "a reporter[,] can have his/her emails searched" even without suspicion of a crime.  See, US v. Miller, 425 US 435 and Smith v. Maryland, 442 US 735.

          •  SCOTUS isn't always right. (0+ / 0-)

            As we well know, since several criminals sit on SCOTUS -- including the ones who stole a Presidential election due to malice and bias.

            SCOTUS isn't even supposed to be the final word on constitutional matters.  That honor goes to the People, who are supposed to be represented by Congress, for what it's worth, which has the power to strip the Court of jurisdiction as well as the power to impeach and remove judges.

            Unfortunately, Congress is a dysfunctional mess right now.  The combination of the unconstitutional filibuster rules, the malapportioned Senate, and the gerrymandered House, is a bad situation to start with.  The single-member districts and Duverger's Law have allowed the Republican Party to go nuts and allowed the Democratic Party members to have no spines, because it's too hard to have a real alternative.  This is then exacerbated by the other, better-known forms of corruption and degeneration.

            Fixing this isn't going to be easy.  

            •  But SCOTUS always gets the final say on the law (0+ / 0-)

              and Constitution's meaning, until/unless there's an amendment or new statute.

              Hence, the claims that the AP & Rosen situations are snadals and 'abuses of power' are just legal ignorance.  

              OTOH, the claims that they are unwise and could undermine real freedom of the press may well be meritorious.  But that's not as sexy as 'scandal!' and 'Nixon!', is it?  And it puts the focus on efforts to change the law rather than attacking Holder and Obama, which is all this is for most of the critics.

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