Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has signed yet another amicus brief on an out-of-state legal case this time challenging a federal judge’s order to jail two San Francisco Chronicle reporters for up to 18 months or until they reveal their confidential sources in a news story involving alleged steroid use by Major League Baseball players. According to Forbes:
In papers filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, the states, led by New York, challenged a federal judge’s order to imprison the reporters who refused to testify about who leaked them secret grand jury testimony of Barry Bonds and other athletes.
Most all of the two dozen states have some type of media shield law. They urged the court to adopt a reporter’s privilege in federal court, where one does not exist.
As reported by Colorado Confidential, Suthers has come under increasing scrutiny for his out-of-state legal involvements including definition of marriage cases, recitation of the pledge of allegiance, and other socially conservative themes.
The briefs became public last month when the Attorney General’s office requested $204,000 in supplemental funding from the Joint Budget Committee to cover budget shortfalls.
Rep. Jack Pommer (D-Boulder), a member of the budget committee, questioned the Attorney General’s priorities for engaging in partisan amicus briefs. Jason Dunn, spokesman for the Attorney General, countered that the office’s involvement was minimal but did not cite a specific figure for tax-supported salaries and expenses devoted to the cases after Colorado Confidential submitted an open records request.
In addition to Colorado, the states who joined this brief include Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and West Virginia and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.