Federal Communications Law Journal

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46 Federal Communications Law Journal 549 (1994)


The First Amendment is commonly interpreted to allow reporters a qualified privilege not to testify. By compelling testimony only where the party requesting the information meets the elements of a three-part test, a court balances the interests of the requesting party with those of the reporter. The court in United States v. Sanusi applied this traditional test and found that the defendant met the elements. However, the court also added a new restriction on the privilege. This Note argues that the additional limitation, requiring that the court be confident that the privilege not be "justifying otherwise illegal conduct," is an unreasonable and unnecessary restriction on the reporters' First Amendment privilege not to testify.