[Ppnews] 9th Circuit Rules Against Josh Wolf

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Sep 12 08:34:03 EDT 2006



For Immediate Release September 11, 2006

Ninth Circuit Panel Rules Against Independent Journalist

Josh Wolf Remains Free On Bail



SAN FRANCISCO - September 11, 2006. After only one week of 
deliberation, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals September motions 
panel returned an unpublished ruling denying journalist Josh Wolf's appeal.



Although the ruling is a perceived as a set-back, Wolf and his 
attorneys remain hopeful that the case will eventually be decided in 
his favor. Wolf and his legal team are currently reviewing the 
possible options available to Wolf, including an En Banc appeal to 
the entire 9th Circuit Court or a direct appeal to the United States 
Supreme Court.



"This particular three judge panel of the 9th Circuit went out of its 
way in a footnote to say that California law would not protect Wolf 
because he was not employed by or connected with any official news 
agency, despite the fact that California courts disagree and have 
interpreted their own law to protect bloggers the same as the 
corporate media's journalists," said Carlos Villarreal, Executive 
Director of the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area.



The panel consisted of Circuit Judges Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, Susan 
P. Graber and Richard R. Clifton.  "In a second footnote they 
continued to narrow any potential protection for journalists by 
making a distinction between public demonstrations versus 
confidential sources and concluding that even if Wolf had a 
confidential source the powers of the grand jury still carry more 
weight than the rights of a free and independent media," said 
Villarreal.  "This panel was obviously very hostile to free speech 
protections."



Wolf feels that "these attempts to decimate the state protections 
afforded to journalists are shameful and I hope the Federal Courts 
recognize the importance of a free press. I feel that Thomas 
Jefferson said it best when he wrote, 'were it left for me to decide 
whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers 
without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the 
latter.' Just as the founding fathers deemed it necessary to 
explicitly recognize the rights of the press in the 1st amendment; it 
is high-time that our federal courts stand with the constitution and 
do the same."



Wolf remains out on bail pending the final decision by the 9th 
circuit and plans to continue to speak out about this issue.



Court documents and past news articles can be found at 
<http://joshwolf.net/grandjury/>http://joshwolf.net/grandjury/

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