This is a very interesting case. The other day, federal district judge Edgardo Ramos in New York threw out a defamation lawsuit between two private parties on the government's intervening motion asserting the state secrets privilege. The case is Restis v. American Coalition Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI).
Latest in Secrecy: State Secrets Privilege: Litigation
The transcript of Judge Edgardo Ramos' Wednesday hearing in Restis v. United Against Nuclear Iran ("UANI") is in---and full of fascinating questions about the government's use of the state secrets privilege.
Last week---and in a somewhat unusual development---the Department of Justice filed a motion to intervene, stay, and dismiss a private lawsuit against a non-profit organization, citing the state secrets privilege.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reversed a lower court opinion and ordered the government to release key portions of the legal memos that lie behind the targeted killing of Anwar Al Awlaki. Here's the opinion, which I have not yet read, by a unanimous three-judge panel.
There's been a fair amount of buzz over the past few days centered around the idea of a statutory "drone court"--a tribunal modeled after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that would (presumably) provide at le
Judge Colleen McMahon of the District Court of the Southern District of New York has granted summary judgment to the government in the consolidated FOIA cases brought by the New York Times and the ACLU. The plaintiffs were seeking information about the government's targeted killing program in the War on Terror.
Proving once again that the judiciary is the most hardcore of the three branches, the Supreme Court remains open for business this morning. The Justices will hear oral argument in Clapper v. Amnesty International, about whether human rights groups have standing to challenge the constitutionality of counterterrorism-related global surveillance, given that the program is secret and thus they can't be sure that they are actually being surveilled.
I received the following response from Richard Klingler to my ACSblog post on Monday re: the Al-Aulaqi suit and Bivens, and thought I'd post it in its entirety (below the fold) before replying (also below the fold):
Richard writes: Steve’s post arguing that courts should recognize Bivens actions seeking damages from military officials based on wartime operations, including the drone strikes at issue in al-Aulaqi v.
Over at the ACSblog, I have a guest post up on Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta and Ben's suspicion that the lawsuit will go the way of Arar, Lebron, Doe, and Rasul--with courts holding that there should be no Bivens cause of action to challenge national security policies.
Here is the Government’s brief in support of its summary judgment motion in response to requests by the NYT and ACLU for records on targeted killings, especially with regard to U.S. citizens. This is the brief for which the USG has sought and received several deadline extensions -- extensions necessitated by extensive internal deliberations that led some to think the USG might be changing its policy on disclosure in this context.