In the wake of seizure of reporters’ communications records, First Amendment expert to visit Club June 11
June 3, 2013 | By John M. Donnelly | JDonnelly@cq.com
The Justice Department has been monitoring reporters’ communications as it seeks to prosecute leaks of classified information. Journalists have cried foul, and they worry about a chilling effect on potential sources. Questions about the balance between national security and press freedom have rarely been more pressing.
Nobody knows the ins and outs of these issues better than First Amendment attorney and press-freedom advocate Floyd Abrams. He’ll share his insights on the latest controversies and read from his new book on Tuesday, June 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the National Press Club’s Zenger Room.
The event is sponsored by the NPC’s Press Freedom Committee. Admission is free for NPC members and $10 for others.
Abrams, a senior partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, has been at the forefront of nearly every major press-freedom and free-speech case in the last 40 years — from the Pentagon papers in 1971 to the Citizens United case in 2010.
His new book, "Friend of the Court: On the Front Lines with the First Amendment," culls in one volume some of his most compelling speeches and writings from across those years.
Abrams's take on the First Amendment is always timely but never more so than now. The Justice Department is increasingly prosecuting those who are accused of disclosing classified information to the press. In these cases, officials are taking more extensive actions than usual against reporters, including secretly obtaining phone and email records and monitoring records of journalists' movements in government buildings.
The National Press Club Press Freedom Committee leads Club efforts to speak out about potential threats to press freedom and open government in the United States and abroad and to promote greater transparency and protections for journalists.