Press freedom case of NYT reporter James Risen may go to Supreme Court

"A federal appeals court will not reconsider a decision compelling a journalist to identify a source who disclosed details of a secret CIA operation," reports the AP:

The full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 13-1 Tuesday to reject reporter James Risen's petition for a rehearing. A divided three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled in July that prosecutors can require Risen to divulge the name of his source when he testifies at the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA agent charged with leaking classified information.

The appeals court's majority did not give any reason for denying Risen's petition. But Judge Roger Gregory, who voted for the rehearing, wrote that the case was "one of exceptional importance" dealing with a fundamental First Amendment question that has not been directly addressed by the Supreme Court or other federal appeals courts.

"My client remains as resolved as ever to continue fighting," said Risen's lawyer, Joel Kurtzberg, in the New York Times.

Adam Martin in the New Yorker:

If prosecutors don't withdraw the subpoena— which Politico's Josh Gerstein points out they might do, thanks to Attorney General Eric Holder's new guidelines protecting journalists — then Risen's next step will be to bring his case to the Supreme Court and hope it decides to take up the issue of protecting journalists' sources.

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