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New York Times reporter appeals to top US court in leak case

Published on Jan 14, 2014 11:49 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A New York Times reporter has asked the US Supreme Court to block an order that would require him to reveal the confidential source for his book exposing CIA secrets.

In a brief filed on Monday, James Risen's lawyers said the case is a test of freedom of the press in investigating government misconduct.

"This case has been transformed into a potential constitutional showdown over the First Amendment and the role of the press in the United States because of the Obama Administration's aggressive use of the powers of the government to try to rein in independent national security reporting," Risen said in a statement to the Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan and published in the newspaper.

Risen blamed US President Barack Obama's White House for provoking "a basic constitutional fight over whether a reporter's privilege exists." And he insisted: "It is the Obama administration that wants to use this case and others like it to intimidate reporters and whistle blowers.

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