Fox News subpoena case appealed to Supreme Court

From Columbia Journalism Review:  The New York Court of Appeals ruled in December that Fox News reporter Jana Winter did not have to testify—and reveal confidential sources—in the Aurora, CO, movie theater shooting case. But in papers filed late Thursday, defendant James Holmes’ lawyers officially appealed that decision to the US Supreme Court.

Winter was subpoenaed last March to testify in Holmes’ trial after she reported a story revealing that Holmes had mailed a notebook containing violent images to his psychiatrist in advance of the shooting, citing unnamed law enforcement officials. Holmes’ attorneys argued that the officials who provided the information to Winter had violated a gag order, and that Winter’s evidence was necessary to Holmes’ case.

The New York Court of Appeals threw out the subpoena on December 10, ruling that, given the absolute protection for journalists under shield laws in New York state, where Winter lives and works, she would not have to testify in the Colorado court, where she would have been required disclose her sources, or face jail time for refusing to do so. Holmes’ attorneys stated their intention to appeal to the Supreme Court earlier this year. They had 90 days to file following the Court of Appeals’ decision, a period ending on March 10.

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