Hawaii senators restrict scope of shield law

Sen. Clayton Hee
Sen. Clayton Hee

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A Hawaii Senate committee has voted to restrict the state's shield law to limit protections for journalists and to remove protections for online news media.

Sen. Clayton Hee said Wednesday that the amendments help clarify the law.

Hee gave the example of the "Dewey Defeats Truman" Chicago Tribune headline to show that news media can make errors.

Hee said the 1972 case Branzburg v. Hayes shows that there is no constitutional claim to a shield law.

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition attorney Jeff Portnoy says the case rather served as a benchmark for state shield laws.

Portnoy says no shield law would be better than the current bill.

Sen. Sam Slom and Sen. Les Ihara voted with reservations for the amendments. Slom says he wasn't shown the amendments before the hearing.

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