Monday, December 3, 2012

Journalists Prevail in Inaugural Application of Wisconsin Shield Law

A newspaper rack displaying The Capital Times ...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The first journalists to seek protection under Wisconsin's shield law [2009-10 Wisc. Stats. 885.14] (see "TUOL" post 4/22/10) have successfully withstood efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice to subpoena them, the Associated Press reports.

A Sauk County judge declined to issue subpoenas to two broadcast journalists for WISC-TV and WMTV-TV and a reporter for The Capital Times, whose testimony the DOJ sought regarding a story about Amish farmer Vernon Hershberger, who faces trial in January over four misdemeanor license violation counts involving the alleged sale of raw milk.

Judge Guy Reynolds denied the government's request, ruling the DOJ had failed to prove it was unable to obtain elsewhere the information it sought by subpoenaing the journalists.
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