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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 18, 2011 / 13 Shevat, 5771

Supreme Court: Is US unfairly hiding behind state-secrets privilege?

By Warren Richey





The justices today take up a case that could potentially alter how the government deals with sensitive national security information. The so-called state-secrets privilege, the result of a Supreme Court ruling, has been in place for more than a half-century

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (TCSM) The US Supreme Court today takes up a case examining whether the government properly invoked the state-secrets privilege to dismiss a civil lawsuit in a multibillion dollar defense contract dispute.

The case is being closely followed because it could result in the high court clarifying the scope of the executive branch's power to side-step the court system whenever officials claim sensitive national security information is at risk.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations have invoked privilege to dismiss litigation that the government claimed would threaten national security. In one case the US government was accused of kidnapping and torturing terror suspects; another involved charges of unlawful electronic surveillance of individuals inside the US.

The dispute dates to 1991 when the US Navy terminated a defense contract to develop a carrier-based stealth jet fighter. The Navy claimed the contractors were behind schedule and had thus defaulted.

Fighting back, the contractors argued that the government itself had caused the contract delays in part by failing to share highly-classified stealth technology.

Contractors General Dynamics Corporation and The Boeing Company took the issue to court, asking a judge to reinstate the contract and award $4 billion in damages.

Government lawyers countered by invoking the state-secrets privilege — arguing that the case must be immediately thrown out of court to avoid the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive national security information.

The maneuver effectively pulled the rug out from under the defense contractors, making it impossible for them to confront government allegations that they had defaulted on their contract requirements. The courts complied with the government's request, dismissing the lawsuit.

WAS GOVERNMENT PLAYING FAIR?
Today, the 20-year-old dispute arrives at the Supreme Court where the justices will examine whether the government violated constitutional requirements of fundamental fairness when it used the state-secrets privilege in a way that prevented the contractors from presenting their side of the dispute in court.

"Neither the due process clause nor basic principles of fairness permit the government both to assert a claim and then to ensure its own victory by invoking the state-secrets privilege to preclude its opponent from interposing such a defense," wrote Charles Cooper in his brief on behalf of Boeing.

"The government holds the unique power both to wield the sword of its claim and to simultaneously deprive its opponent of the shield of its defense," Mr. Cooper wrote.

At the center of the case is the so-called state-secrets privilege. The privilege, established by the Supreme Court in a 1953 decision, authorizes the dismissal of certain court cases when evidence revealed in those cases might lead to disclosure government secrets.

HOW THE STATE-SECRETS PRIVILEGE STARTED
In 1953, the high court ruled in a case called US v. Reynolds that judges should bar the release of evidence in a pending legal case if the government claimed the release would reveal sensitive information. In that case, family members of a civilian scientist killed during a research flight sought to learn the cause of the plane crash.

The scientist had been working on a cutting-edge military project and defense officials urged the court to dismiss the case to keep the scientist's work secret. The court complied. The lawsuit was dismissed.

In the 1953 case, the government was a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by the scientist's surviving family members. The invocation of the state-secrets privilege forced the family to bear the burden of the government's secrecy claim.

But the high court stressed that it would be different if the government had brought the lawsuit itself or was attempting to prosecute someone for alleged wrongdoing. The justices said it would be "unconscionable" for the government to criminally prosecute an individual while at the same time invoking the state-secrets privilege in a way that withheld evidence that would assist his defense.

The same could happen in a civil lawsuit with the government's claim of privilege preventing an opposing party from effectively defending themselves from government allegations.

That's what the defense contractors claim is happening in the defense contract dispute now at the high court.

'AN INSTRUMENT OF UNJUSTICE'
The contractors are asking the Supreme Court to establish a clear rule that when the government is a defendant in a lawsuit and claims the state-secrets privilege the underlying lawsuit may be dismissed. But when the tables are turned and it is the government that initiates the legal action, any invocation of the state-secrets doctrine by the government should not benefit the government. Such an opportunity would allow the government to manipulate the judicial system and make the court "an instrument of injustice," wrote Paul Smith in his brief on behalf of General Dynamics.

"The court should rule that no moving party can proceed with a claim for relief if the privilege entirely prevents litigation of a significant defense," Mr. Smith wrote.

Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal is urging the justices to reject the contractors' suggested rule. He said in his brief that such a rule would be expensive for the country "by allowing money judgments against the government on claims that have not been proved."

"Neither precedent nor logic supports petitioners' contention that the courts below were required to dispose of this case as though petitioners had proved their … claim," he said.

He added that no court in a civil case has ever entered a judgment against the government following an assertion of the state-secrets privilege.

A decision is expected by late June.

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© 2011, Christian Science Monitor