Bar Exam (US) Constitutional law: Question below is based on the following fact situation. In Br...

Question

Question below is based on the following fact situation.

In Branzburg v. Hayes , 409 U.S. 665 (1972), the United States Supreme Court by a 5 to 4 majority rejected a reporter's claim that, as the flow of information available to the press would be impeded if newsmen were compelled to release the names of confidential sources for use in a government investigation, the First Amendment must be held to embrace a privilege to refuse to divulge such information in order to protect the reporter's channels to the community.

In the wake of Branzburg , however, several states have enacted "state shield" laws which provide a varying range of protection for newsmen. Now, Congress-under intense lobbying pressure from the press-proposes to enact legislation forbidding any state from requiring journalists to reveal the sources of their news articles in civil suits.

Which of the following is the strongest constitutional argument in support of this proposed law?

AnswerChoose the correct answer.Choose all that apply. Correct Partially correct Incorrect Don't Know

  1. A
    Correct Answer
    Congress has the authority under the Commerce Clause to regulate the flow of news.
  2. B
    Correct Answer
    Acts of Congress are the supreme law of the land and take precedence over any conflicting state laws.
  3. C
    Correct Answer
    In the proposed law, Congress essentially would be reaffirming the free speech guarantees of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
  4. D
    Correct Answer
    Under Article 1, Section 8, Congress has the authority to secure to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.
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