POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Sen. Lee would beef up journalist protections with the PRESS Act

Jan 24, 2024, 7:00 AM

Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) arrives for a hearing in the Hart Senate Off...

FILE: Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) arrives for a hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on December 05, 2023 in Washington, DC. Lee is teaming up with Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle to beef up protections for journalists with the PRESS Act. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON D.C. — Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is teaming up with Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle to beef up protections for journalists with the PRESS Act.

Lee told KSL NewsRadio that the bipartisan PRESS Act would keep government agencies from compelling journalists to give up their sources without a really good reason, and, a subpoena.

 

“This is a critical piece of legislation,” Lee said, “and rather than succumbing to the lugubrious conclusion that this is always going to happen, we’re affirmatively prohibiting it from happening.”

Senator Lee said the PRESS Act would also keep the government from telling service providers to give up journalists’ private data.

 

Senators Dick Durbin, D-IL, and Ron Wyden, D-OR, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, co-sponsored the act.

“You can’t have a free country if you don’t have a free press.  That’s why this was one of the first freedoms protected in the First Amendment to our Constitution,” Lee said.

“Journalists should break news, and shouldn’t have to be sweating under government surveillance … when they do this.”

The House of Representatives passed companion legislation on Jan. 18, 2024. 

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Sen. Lee would beef up journalist protections with the PRESS Act