WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday increased the likelihood of jail time for two reporters, refusing to take up a case that pits the news media's promise to protect confidential sources against a grand jury's demand for information.
The justices' decision not to intervene leaves reporters Judith Miller of The New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine in contempt of court for refusing to reveal their sources in a leak probe involving CIA officer Valerie Plame. Each reporter faces up to 18 months in jail.
Tom Hilton put it very well:
This isn't your run-of-the-mill story about reporters protecting their sources; in all probability, the communications with Cooper and Miller either were criminal acts in their own right or establish definitively that criminal acts were committed. (Obviously, there is a speculative element to this--everything substantive is sealed--but it's based on such information as we do have at this point.) That crosses the line between protecting a source and complicity in a crime.
(And yes, Novak should be doing time. But that doesn't mean Cooper and (especially) Miller shouldn't.)
Rodney Graves comments.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy submarine force explains why Plame, Cooper, and Miller matter.
Why Fitzgerald needs their testimony.
Why Miller's testimony may be crucial.