Attorney General nominee Eric Holder gave clues during Thursday’s confirmation hearing that he plans to veer away from the last eight years of Bush policy in its restrictiveness on press freedom issues.
When questioned by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt, Holder told a Senate committee that he supports a federal shield law. He said that a “carefully crafted law is appropriate,” and that he would like to gather views from Department of Justice employees on striking a balance between protecting a journalist’s confidential sources, guarding national security and prosecuting government leaks.
In response to questions from Leahy on the Freedom of Information Act, Holder said he would rescind the Bush-era policies, Legal Times reported. Holder supported a return to disclosure policies in place under the Clinton Administration, including rescinding John Ashcroft’s memo on FOIA, which discourages agencies from making discretionary releases under FOIA.