Eavesdropping law shot down
Illinois’ eavesdropping law has increasingly drawn journalists’ complaints because of the potential for shutting down reporting on public events. Now a Crawford County judge has handed down a decision that declares the law unconstitutional.
Protecting reporters’ rights to cover the news is a mandate for the Chicago Headline Club, and so the fate of this case, and the issue is one we will to pay attention to.
As the following article from the Reporters Committee for a Free Press explains, this is matter of concern not only to those of us in Illinois.
“An Illinois judge ruled the state’s eavesdropping law unconstitutional as applied to a man who faced up to to 75 years in prison for secretly recording his encounters with police officers and a judge.
“A statute intended to prevent unwarranted intrusions into a citizen’s privacy cannot be used as a shield for public officials who cannot assert a comparable right of privacy in their public duties,” the judge wrote in his decision dismissing the five counts of eavesdropping charges against defendant Michael Allison.
“Such action impedes the free flow of information concerning public officials and violates the First Amendment right to gather such information,” he wrote.”
Here is the entire article:
And you may read the entire decision here: