The Talking Dog

February 27, 2009, The Republic Strikes Back... At Least A Little

In the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court handed the Bush Obama Administration a set-back in its assertion of state-secrets privileges to try to stymie a suit brought by an Oregon-based Islamic charity over illegal wire-tapping of it. The Obama Administration asked for a stay to further consider its privilege assertion, but after its recent backsliding into imperial mode in the Binyam Mohammed torture case against Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen, it appears that the Ninth Circuit was having no more of it from the the Bush Obama Administration.

Admittedly, much of the case still presents an uphill climb for the plaintiff, who must still demonstrate that they have standing to bring the suit, i.e., that they were actually injured, or that they were actually spied upon... but the Ninth Circuit has at least ruled that they can try-- that the mere assertion of "national security" is no longer a per se magical incantation that can shut down a lawsuit without further thought.

This is the kind of loss to the Obama Administration that the rest of us can consider a win toward, hopefully, preserving our Constitutional rights.