Transcript: Sen. Mike Lee’s remarks on the Free Flow of Information Act – Sept. 12, 2013

Partial transcript of remarks by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Texas) on the Free Flow of Information Act. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing was held on Sept. 12, 2013:

…I deeply appreciate the sponsor’s efforts to protect the press from the chilling effects of forced disclosure of confidential sources.

And I support the protections of this legislation that would have offered to members of the public who engage in constitutionally-shielded journalistic activities.

But I can’t vote in favor of the legislation – of this or any legislation – that restricts those protections to members of a specific occupation defined by the precise nature of the entity that employs them, whether as an employee or perhaps as an independent contractor.

As the Supreme Court confirmed in Branzburg v. Hayes more than 40 years ago, the freedom of the press is a fundamental personal right and it’s not something that can confined to newspapers and other periodicals.

If we are to extend the Constitution’s protections in an area such as freedom of the press, we need to do so in a way that protects the constitutional rights that all persons enjoy.

Because this legislation may have the effect of excluding certain persons from enjoying the added First Amendment protections the bill would provide, I can’t support it.

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One Comment on “Transcript: Sen. Mike Lee’s remarks on the Free Flow of Information Act – Sept. 12, 2013

  1. Pingback: Justice Department revises guidelines for obtaining information from journalists | What The Folly?!

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