Rep. Kiley’s PRESS Act Now at 20 Bipartisan Co-sponsors
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA) announced that his bipartisan PRESS Act now has 20 bipartisan co-sponsors. The PRESS Act was introduced by Rep. Kiley on June 21, 2023 with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and has been introduced by Senators Lee (R-UT), Durbin (D-IL), and Wyden (D-OR) in the US Senate. This legislation ensures reporters cannot be compelled by the government to disclose their confidential sources or research files, and protects their data held by third parties like phone and internet companies from being secretly seized by the government without the opportunity to challenge those demands in court. On July 19, the PRESS Act received unanimous support from the House Judiciary Committee.
“It is more important than ever to have bipartisan support for the protection of First Amendment freedoms, and I am grateful that so many colleagues on both sides of the aisle have joined me as co-authors. The Judiciary Committee unanimously passed this legislation to secure a core constitutional right and make our government more representative and accountable. I look forward to getting it passed on the House Floor and ultimately signed into law by the President.” – Congressman Kevin Kiley (R-CA)
Background: While 48 states and the District of Columbia have some form of shield law or reporter’s privilege, protections vary significantly, and the state laws do not apply to investigations by federal agencies, such as the DOJ or FBI. Passing this bill mitigates these shortcomings and brings consistency to an important freedom of speech issue. The bill shields journalists’ communications records from the government, with narrow exceptions for terrorism and threat of imminent violence or harm.
You can read the bill text here and a summary here.