The Note: The Note for America

Some thoughts from Theodore Olson, writing in the Wall Street Journal: "Whatever the Court may decide about a First Amendment or common-law evidentiary privilege for confidential sources, it will perform a service by taking the case and clarifying the law. Reporters need to know whether they can promise to protect a source's confidentiality and what protection, if any, the law will give them if they do. It ill-serves society for reporters and their lawyers to be operating in the dark -- not knowing whether a reporter's promise to protect a source will be respected by the courts, or whether it will result, instead, in a prison term unless the reporter decides to break his word. By the same token, sources are entitled to know whether their need for anonymity will be honored."

"A free and energetic press has proven to be among our most precious resources. It cannot function where rules are uncertain and simple miscalculations may result in incarceration. Whatever the extent or degree of a confidential-source privilege, and whether it is qualified by exigent circumstances or special law-enforcement needs, there is no player in this vitally important area that would not benefit from a clear articulation of the operative principles."


Buried in his article about the Sami al-Arian trial in South Florida is this interesting tidbit from Josh Gerstein: "In a brief interview yesterday, Mr. al-Arian's lawyer, Mr. Moffitt, stood by his statement Monday that prosecutors had named a Washington lobbyist, Khaled Saffuri, as a co-conspirator in the case. In his opening statement, Mr. Moffitt said a man named Saffuri who worked with a prominent anti-tax activist, Grover Norquist, helped Mr. al-Arian establish ties with the Republican Party and was considered 'another co-conspirator.'" LINK

"Asked yesterday precisely when prosecutors made such an assertion, Mr. Moffitt said, 'I've got enough paper in my head . . . I'm sure we saw it.'"

"A spokesman for the prosecution had no comment on the claim. Mr. Saffuri's name does not appear on a list of unindicted co-conspirators that prosecutors filed publicly in April."

"Mr. Saffuri, who now works at a law and lobbying firm, Collier Shannon Scott, did not respond to several requests to comment for this story. Last month, he testified before Congress as chairman of a Muslim-American political organization, the Islamic Free Market Institute."

We call dibs on Bono watch. LINK

Sens. Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham make their case on the New York Times op-ed page for a tariff on exports to Beijing as a response to China's "mercantilist" policy toward the yuan. LINK

The New York Times' Joe Follick writes that state supreme court justices in Florida seemed to worry in arguments yesterday that the state overstepped its constitutional authority in providing funds for non-public schools. LINK

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