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Playing by the Rulings

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Posner's opinion isn't great for reporter's privilege; on the other hand, Pallasch's situation isn't Novak's [Hot Type, October 10]. There [Pallasch's] source is known and wanted, the reporter notes turned over. Posner specifically notes: "When the information in the reporter's possession does not come from a confidential source, it is difficult to see what possible bearing the First Amendment could have on the question of compelled disclosure." Maybe he would rule against Novak--it would be nice--but surely the opinion doesn't compel that ruling.

Barry D. Bayer

Editor in chief

Law Office Technology Review

Homewood

Michael Miner replies:

Looking at the larger picture, I'm not sure that a ruling against Novak would be nice at all. But despite the distinctions noted in this letter, Posner didn't leave the court with a lot of room to do anything else.

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