Walter Pincus of the Washington Post reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee has postponed consideration of a federal shield law for journalists after hearing strong new objections to the measure from the Justice Department. “The postponement all but guarantees that there will be no Senate action on the measure until Congress returns after the November elections. Even then, passage of the legislation is doubtful given powerful opposition in the House and from the Bush administration, according to congressional aides and non-government supporters of the measure,” Pincus writes. A federal shield law would have kept San Francisco journalist Josh Wolf out of jail after he refused to turn over a videotape he shot of a political protest, and a federal shield law would have protected Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, who are facing as much as 18 months in jail for refusing to disclose the source of grand jury transcripts in the Barry Bonds steroids case.

SF Press Club News

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