Federal Judge: Courts Rubber-Stamp White House on Security Issues

Federal District Court Judge Royce Lamberth has said what many civil libertarians have long thought. According to Politico

Speaking at a conference for federal employees who process Freedom of Information Act requests, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said his fellow jurists usually rubber-stamp agency claims that disclosing information would jeopardize national security.

“It bothers me that judges, in general, are far too deferential to Exemption 1 claims,” Lamberth said, referring the language in FOIA that allows for withholding of information classified pursuant to an executive order. “Most judges give almost blind deference on Exemption 1 claims.”

Judge Lamberth, a graduate of the University of Texas, was appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan in 1987. He previously served as an Army JAG officer and as a federal prosecutor. His recent decisions have included ordering the release of Richard Nixon’s testimony concerning the Watergate scandal and controversially issuing an injunction to prevent the Obama administration from destroying embryos used in stem cell research. In the case of Cobell v. Salazar, a landmark lawsuit by Native Americans against the U.S. Government, Lamberth – the presiding judge – was famously forcibly removed from the case by the Circuit Court of Appeals after he repeatedly sided with the tribal plaintiffs and even held George W. Bush’s Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton in contempt of court.

4 Comments on "Federal Judge: Courts Rubber-Stamp White House on Security Issues"

  1. Simon Valentine | May 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm |

    if saying disclosing information would jeopardize national security ISN’T ITSELF AN ACTION THAT WOULD JEOPARDIZE … authority? NSA? some other imaginary construct? then double jeopardy is just a “well i have the right to be stupid and pretend [sic] in charge of [sic]” type of people after [it] had a stroke.

    domestic terrorists only shake with their right mind rapport.
    and not only rogues have ambidexterity.

    the days of cheaters and liars are numbered.

    again, “releasing this would cause people to question [sic] or to do [sic] or to have [sic]”. what? releasing that they have absolutely nothing of importance? that everyone would lose faith? that the lie would be exposed? that there prestige keeps them from being unemployed? et cetera. i’ll just get back to work and wait for some judge with balls enough to tell me that “lightning doesn’t strike Benjamin Franklin twice”.

  2. Liam_McGonagle | May 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm |

    “The constitution is not a death pact.”

    No, but sometimes you’d wish it were. From wikipedia:

    ‘Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus

    Under the United States Constitution, habeas corpus can be suspended in cases of rebellion or invasion. The Confederacy was rebelling, thus suspension of habeas corpus was both legal and constitutional—but only if done by Congress, since the Constitution reserves this power under Article I, which pertains solely to congressional powers; Lincoln, meanwhile, usurped the power under his own executive order. After habeas corpus was suspended by General Winfield Scott in one theater of the Civil War in 1861, Lincoln did write that Scott “could arrest, and detain, without resort to ordinary processes and forms of law, such individuals as he might deem dangerous to public safety.” After Chief Justice Roger B. Taney attacked the president for this policy, Lincoln responded in a Special Session to Congress on July 4, 1861 that an insurrection “in nearly one-third of the States had subverted the whole of the laws . . . Are all the laws, but one, to go unexecuted, and the government itself go to pieces, lest that one be violated?”

    Later in the war, after some had criticized the arrest and detention of Congressman Clement Vallandigham of Ohio, Lincoln wrote to Erastus Corning in June 1862 that Vallandigham was arrested “because he was laboring, with some effect, to prevent the raising of troops, to encourage desertions from the army, and to leave the rebellion without an adequate military force to suppress it. . . . Must I shoot a simple-minded deserter, while I must not touch a hair of a wily agitator who induces him to desert?” Lincoln did not comment on the proper channels of due process regarding such “agitation.”‘

    Of course, there is a difference between a country literally split in two by civil war and one guy seven years ago who unsuccessfully attempted to bring down a jet liner with a shoe bomb. But you’ll never get them to recognize that.

    • BuzzCoastin | May 15, 2013 at 6:52 pm |

      no one really knows that Lincoln was the first Bush president
      how ironic he’s known as the guy who freed the slaves

  3. BuzzCoastin | May 15, 2013 at 6:51 pm |

    if it wasn’t that fat slob
    they find another to take his place
    he’s just “doin’ my job & followin’ orders”

Comments are closed.