The Supreme Court said Monday that it would not free a Texas television reporter serving a six-month jail term for refusing to disclose the name of a confidential source.
The justices, by a 7-2 vote, rejected an emergency request by reporter Brian Karem of KMOL-TV in San Antonio.
Justices William J. Brennan Jr. and Thurgood Marshall voted to grant Karem’s request that he be freed pending his appeal of the judge’s contempt order that led to his jailing.
Karem was jailed on June 27 after refusing to disclose the identity of a source who helped arrange his telephone interview last year with a jailed murder suspect, Henry Hernandez.
Hernandez is charged with fatally shooting San Antonio Police Officer Gary Williams in March, 1989.
Attorneys in the murder trial of Hernandez and his brother, Julian, have said that they need to know who arranged the interview to assure a fair trial and determine whether the interview should be admitted as evidence. A law enforcement official has said that he has identified the source as a cousin of Hernandez.
Meanwhile, the Society of Professional Journalists called Sunday for Karem’s release and commended the reporter and his station “for their dedication and willingness to stand by the principles in which we believe . . . .”