Monday, July 24, 2006

Judge rejects dismissal motion on EFF case

Glenn Greenwald, author of How Would A Patriot Act?, reports that the Bush administration's motion to dismiss the lawsuit by the EFF against AT&T has been rejected.

Underscoring how courts virtually always accept the government's claim of state secrets, the court began by discussing the long line of cases in which, in almost every instance, courts deferred to the Government's assertion that state secrets would be jeopardized by ongoing litigation. Indeed, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals -- the appellate court which is above this district court -- previously directed that "utmost deference" be given to the government's invocation of this claim.

After looking at the government's claim, the court rejected the argument that allowing the case to proceed would put essential state secrets at risk, since the US government itself has already admitted the existence of the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program.

This seems to be a common tactic of the American right: the government proudly announces some program or event, third parties investigate and discover that it is illegal or otherwise harmful, and the government and/or right-wing pundits immediately start hollering State Secret!. Fortunately, the courts are starting to wise up to that game.

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