Thursday, April 9, 2009


Dan Froomkin in his White House Watch blog in today's The Washington Post reminds us that Obama's Justice Department has inexplicably maintained the bogus doctrine of "state secrets" to try to quash three cases being brought in federal court against government trampling on the Constitution.

The whole notion of "state secrets" as a defense against individuals claiming tortious and harmful action by the federal government is riddled with bogus legal reasoning. What possible could be so sensitive that it could not be revealed to a federal judge sitting in chambers reviewing a case? The whole concept seems intent in bypassing the federal courts and arrogating to the executive privileges and powers not granted in Article II of the Constitution.

On the basis of "state secrets," the Obama Justice Department wants the courts to deny pleas from Guantanamo internees as well as to dismiss a law suit charging AT&T with violating the Fourth Amendment in enabling phone taps. This state secrets argument is just bull, for which there is no credible legal basis. The courts should maintain their own constitutional duties and disregard the Obama government's self-serving legal arguments that revelation of certain facts will jeopardize national security.

If the Obama Justice Department prevails, every suit initiated against the executive or against the federal government is in jeopardy of failing in the face of an argument in favor of "state secrets." Obama should end this charade now, right now, and allow the federal courts and the public to evaluate the cases on their own merits, instead of relying on the specious line of "state secrets."

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