About the bill
Should journalists be imprisoned if they refuse to divulge their sources to the federal government?
Under current law, they can be — and it’s been done before. The Free Flow of Information Act is a new House bill which would end the practice and institute a federal “shield law” for journalists.
When the government subpoenas somebody and asks for answers under oath, the person is usually required to comply — but not always. Federal law allows a few exceptions such as private information revealed between a patient and their psychotherapist, a client and their attorney, or a confessor and their priest.
Yet even though 49 of the 50 states have state-level laws protecting information shared between a journalist and their source, the federal government does not.
As a result, …
Sponsor and status
Sponsor. Representative for Maryland's 8th congressional district. Democrat.
Last Updated: Nov 14, 2017
Length: 10 pages
115th Congress (2017–2019)
This bill was introduced on November 14, 2017, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.
Although this bill was not enacted, its provisions could have become law by being included in another bill. It is common for legislative text to be introduced concurrently in multiple bills (called companion bills), re-introduced in subsequent sessions of Congress in new bills, or added to larger bills (sometimes called omnibus bills).
12 Cosponsors (7 Democrats, 5 Republicans)
What legislators are saying
“Reps. Raskin & Jordan Introduce Bipartisan Federal Press Shield Law”
— Rep. Jamie Raskin [D-MD8] (Sponsor) on Nov 14, 2017
Nov 14, 2017
Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.
H.R. 4382 (115th) was a bill in the United States Congress.
A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.
Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 4382. This is the one from the 115th Congress.
This bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2017 to Jan 3, 2019. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.
How to cite this information.
We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:
GovTrack.us. (2022). H.R. 4382 — 115th Congress: Free Flow of Information Act of 2017. Retrieved from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr4382
“H.R. 4382 — 115th Congress: Free Flow of Information Act of 2017.” www.GovTrack.us. 2017. November 26, 2022 <https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr4382>
Free Flow of Information Act of 2017, H.R. 4382, 115th Cong..
|title=H.R. 4382 (115th)
|accessdate=November 26, 2022
|author=115th Congress (2017)
|date=November 14, 2017
|quote=Free Flow of Information Act of 2017
Where is this information from?
GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from Congress.gov, the official portal of the United States Congress. Congress.gov is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.