The ruling facing Fox News reporter Jana Winter was dismissed on Tuesday, sparing her from having to reveal confidential sources she consulted for a story on the Aurora movie theater shooting.
New York State's Court of Appeals voted to knock down an earlier decision which would require Winter to appear in front of Arapahoe County District Court in Colorado to disclose the source who gave her information about a notebook that the gunman, James Holmes, gave to his psychiatrist just prior to the shooting, Fox News reported on Tuesday. Winter reportedly said that she would go to jail before revealing such information to a judge.
The high court presented its decision Tuesday morning:
"An order from a New York court directing a reporter to appear in another state where, as here, there is a substantial likelihood that she will be compelled to identify sources who have been promised confidentiality would offend our strong public policy."
The decision marks a notable victory for shield laws and legislation protecting journalists.
"Confidential newsgathering is essential for investigative journalism to flourish, and the New York Court of Appeals has issued a broad decision protecting all New York-based journalists," Winter's attorney, Dori Ann Hanswirth said. "Today's victory is as much for Jana Winter as it is for all journalists and the public, which has a right to receive news from confidential sources."
UPDATE: Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said the following in a statement sent to the Huffington Post:
"Today's ruling is a major win for all journalists. The protection of Jana Winter's confidential sources was necessary for the survival of journalism and democracy as a whole. We are very grateful that the highest court in New York State agreed with our position."