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Criminalize the exposure of unconstitutional conduct? Got a case on point?

No, I'm afraid I have no specific precedent. But I think the case is a little clearer if you look at what Congress has actually done. They haven't criminalized "exposure of unconstitutional conduct" - they've criminalized disclosure of all classified information (generally speaking), of which some might pertain to conduct which is arguably unconstitutional.

Congress could certainly choose to write into that prohibition an exception for "unconstitutional conduct" - but they have not done so (as far as I'm aware). Which means that for a court to basically invalidate the laws criminalizing disclosure of classified information, they would have to find some organic protection in the Constitution for this type of behavior.

I doubt they would do that. They might be willing to find some Constitutional right to go to a court to claim that the government is violating the Constitution - but not a Constitutional right to go to the press (or the public at large). Congress will be presumed to have balanced the need for secrecy with the need for institutional checks on potential Executive violations of the Constitution, and come down in favor of secrecy. I doubt a court would disturb that.

Albaby
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