Obstruction of journalism: A new way to combat violence against journalists


Obstruction of justice laws are aimed at safeguarding the courts and justice system from threats against them. Specifically, the broadest of the suite of federal obstruction of justice statutes outlaws threats, force or threatening communications intended to influence, obstruct or impede the administration of justice. The law has been most famously invoked against those who lie to thwart the process. Martha Stewart’s prosecution is perhaps the best-known example. But the statute also criminalizes the use of violence to corrupt the justice system.

Its language could be readily adapted to cover journalism.

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