Capital Briefs

Supreme Court refuses to hear journalist’s case

The Supreme Court declined on Monday to hear New York Times reporter James Risen’s appeal to define whether journalists have a right to protect their confidential sources:

“Without comment, the justices rejected an appeal from New York Times reporter James Risen to revisit the court’s 42-year-old ruling that has raised questions about journalists’ ability to shield from public view the names of people who tell them government secrets.

Risen detailed a botched CIA effort during the Clinton administration to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions. His reporting is at the center of criminal charges against former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling of disclosing government secrets.”

Sterling is Risen’s suspected source, and Risen was subpoenaed to testify at his trial. Though Risen could be held in contempt, Attorney General Eric Holder has hinted that the Justice Department may not request jail time for Risen if he refuses to testify.

Risen has said that he would rather face jail than give up his source.

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