Dual-Class Citizenship

I understand the logic behind reporter shield laws.  However, I can't support the establishment of different classes of citizenship with different rights, particularly when these rights are tied to certain professions.  Either everyone should be able to ignore a subpoena, or nobody should be able to do so.   My individual rights should not be subject to a hiring decision by the NY Times.

For those who believe this is essential to the functioning of the press, it is left as an exercise to explain how the press has survived without it for over 200 years.

It is worth noting that this is effectively an extension of what Congress began with McCain-Feingold.  In that law, Congress gave members of the press unique speech rights within 60 days of an election that the rest of us do not have.  The press tries to piously portray itself as a special entity, but they sure do look like any other special interest group lobbying Congress for special privileges.

Much more here.


  1. Anonymous:

    Press shield laws may be logical to the self declared elite that work for major media, but to many of us they are un-constitutional.

    “Congress shall make no law” means that Congress lacks the power to define the press. Once anybody or organization that thinks themselves press are excluded from the statutory definition, Congress has abridged the freedom of the press.

  2. Charles D. Quarles:

    While we are on the subject of the First Amendment, let us not forget that "the right of the People to peaceably assemble and to petition the Government for the Redress of Grievances shall not be infringed" means that lobbying is a Constitutional right.