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.
Latest in Secrecy: State Secrets Privilege
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.
Back in March, we shared the appellant's brief in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals case of American Civil Liberties Union v. CIA.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed its opening brief in its appeal of the District Court of the District of Columbia's granting of a motion for summary judgment for the Central Intelligence Agency. The case stems from a FOIA request filed by the ACLU on January 13, 2010 requesting government records related to the use of drones in targeted killings.
Peter Margulies of Roger Williams University School of Law has sent in two accounts of panel discussions at the annual meeting of the American Association of Law Schools. Here is the first:
The UK for some time has been wrestling with the problem of civil litigation that implicates states secrets. Foreign Minister William Hague addressed the issue eloquently in this speech, which in relevant part takes up the possibility of using special advocates and other closed-door proceedings to overcome the problem. Here is the key passage:
In the past couple of days, both Jack and I have called for greater transparency concerning the legal rationale for the drones program. Lurking behind both of our posts--and peeking out of both occasionally--is a point that is worth making explicit: There is something deeply wrong about the faux covertness of this program.
That's what somebody in the government is saying today, on reading this Washington Post story about a contract dispute between two aviation companies involved in CIA renditions--a dispute that seems to involve airing a lot of material in public. Money quote:
Josh Gerstein at the Politico is reporting:
The Obama administration is invoking the state secrets privilege to seek dismissal of part of a lawsuit brought by Muslims who claim that the FBI conducted sweeping unconstitutional surveillance of Southern California mosques and those who practice Islam in the region.
The Supreme Court today issued a unanimous opinion in General Dynamics Corp. v.