Posner’s opinion isn’t great for reporter’s privilege; on the other hand, Pallasch’s situation isn’t Novak’s [Hot Type, October 10]. There [Pallasch’s] source is known and wanted, the reporter notes turned over. Posner specifically notes: “When the information in the reporter’s possession does not come from a confidential source, it is difficult to see what possible bearing the First Amendment could have on the question of compelled disclosure.” Maybe he would rule against Novak–it would be nice–but surely the opinion doesn’t compel that ruling.
Barry D. Bayer
Editor in chief
Law Office Technology Review
Michael Miner replies:
Looking at the larger picture, I’m not sure that a ruling against Novak would be nice at all. But despite the distinctions noted in this letter, Posner didn’t leave the court with a lot of room to do anything else.