Full D.C. Circuit Won't Hear Miller/Cooper Case; Only Step Left is Supreme Court

By: E&P Staff The New York Times' Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, who each face jail time for refusing to divulge sources in the Valeria Plame case, are left with only one option -- an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court -- after the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals declined today to hear their appeal, according to a report in The New York Times.

Today's ruling, by the full appeals court in Washington, denies a request to reconsider the unanimous ruling of a three-judge panel of that court. In February, the panel upheld a trial judge's order that the reporters to divulge the source or sources that provided them with the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent whose identity was first disclosed by syndicated columnist Robert Novak.

Seven judges ruled in today's decision, the Times reported.

The New York Times Co. issued a statement today, which said, "We are disappointed with the court's decision and we will seek a stay in order to have sufficient time to seek U.S. Supreme Court review."

Judge Thomas F. Hogan, chief judge of the federal district court in Washington, ordered Miller and Cooper to jail in October unless they agreed to testify. That order has been stayed pending outcome of appeals. If the Supreme Court does not agree to hear the appeal, Miller and Cooper could be ordered to surrender soon.

Attorney Floyd Abrams, who is representing both reporters, could not immediately be reached for comment. However, at an appearance before the American Society of Newspaper Editors last week, he said he believed his clients would have a more difficult time getting the high court to take the case than they would getting a ruling in their favor.


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