Brief of Amici Curiae Scholars of Constitutional Law, First Amendment Law, and Media Law in Support of the Defendant in United States v. Terry J. Albury
42 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2018
Date Written: October 4, 2018
Amici are seventeen professors whose research and teaching primarily focus on constitutional law, First Amendment law, and media law. The professors have an interest in ensuring the continued operation of a free, fair, and robust press in the United States.
The sentencing of Terry Albury requires this Court to determine what criminal punishment should appropriately be imposed on a government employee who disclosed to a journalist information of significant public interest to his fellow citizens. In making that determination, this Court can and should consider the important First Amendment interests at stake. It is for this Court, at sentencing, to craft a punishment that properly weighs the constitutional protection of free speech and the public interest in the newsworthy disclosure at issue in this case against any actual harm to national security caused by Mr. Albury’s act of conscience. To aid the Court in making this determination, amici draw the Court’s attention to several factors that underscore the important interests that should weigh in the sentencing decision.
Keywords: First Amendment, Espionage Act, Whistleblower, Media Leak, Secrecy, Sentencing, Classification
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