Utah Attorney General Seeking Shield Law for News Reporters

Utah Attorney General Seeking Shield Law for News Reporters

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is taking his campaign for a shield law for news reporters to the state's top judges.

Shurtleff will ask today for a rule discouraging prosecutors from subpoenaing reporters' notes, television station outtakes or inquiring about confidential sources.

Shurtleff says it's part of his two-track plan to appeal to the judiciary to adopt a rule or the Legislature to enact a law protecting reporters in Utah -- one of a few states that doesn't protect reporters' notes or sources from the scrutiny of criminal prosecutors.

Media attorney Jeff Hunt says Utah is unique among states that grant their Supreme Court broad powers to set rules of evidence, and the judiciary doesn't have to wait for the Legislature to act first.

Shurtleff and Hunt are taking their request this evening to a committee of judges and lawyers who advise the Supreme Court, which controls the state's judiciary. They didn't expect an immediate endorsement from the committee.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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