American Judges Association


Date of this Version

Winter 2007


Published in Court Review: The Journal of the American Judges Association, 43:4. Copyright © 2007 National Center for State Courts. Used by permission.


Amidst a fog of political divisiveness, Judith Miller found herself in the untenable situation of having to breach the journalists’ code of ethics, as well as her own personal promise of confidentiality, or go to jail. According to the government, she had obtained illegally disclosed information from a high-ranking member of President George W. Bush’s administration. Eventually, a grand jury issued Miller a subpoena that directed her to breach her promise of confidentiality by revealing the identity of her source. Miller claimed that she had a First Amendment right to withhold her confidential information from the grand jury. The court disagreed and, although she never published the information, Miller was sent to jail as punishment for protecting her source.

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