Good Luck With the Shield Law Argument

Henry Blodget:

The search warrant is ambiguous about the specific reason the police gave for the search and seizure. Specifically, it’s possible — likely, even — that the police believe Gawker Media committed the felony by acquiring the iPhone (“buying stolen property”).

If that’s the “probable cause” the police used to obtain the warrant, the journalist shield law may not apply.

Journalist shield laws are about journalists being able to protect sources who may have committed crimes. They’re not a license for journalists to commit crimes themselves. Gawker is making an argument that is beside the point. They’re arguing, “Hey, bloggers are journalists.” The state of California is arguing “Hey, you committed a felony.”

Monday, 26 April 2010