Posted by Damozel | Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa) ---the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee --- has responded to Michael Mukasey's argument in The Washington Post. An earlier article provides a nutshell summary of the pertinent parts. It seems a very moderate sort of shield to me, so I find the fact that Mukasey and other Administration officials oppose it distinctly worrying.
The bill would protect a reporter's source unless a federal judge, "by a preponderance of the evidence," ruled that the identity sought is "essential to the resolution of the matter." In a criminal case, the judge must determine that "there are reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has occurred."
When classified information is involved, the judge must conclude that the leaker is "a person with authorized access" to the information and that the disclosure "has caused or will cause significant, clear, and articulable harm to the national security."