In other words, Feds win, individuals lose. What I find interesting about this ruling, other than the fact that it comes from the 9th Circuit, is that it takes nearly the exact opposite position that we saw in U.S. v. Nixon, where the Supreme Court held that an individual's right to have his day in court, as guaranteed by the 6th Amendment, TRUMPS Executive Privilege - even if that privilege belonged to the President of the United States.
This case requires us to address the difficult balance the
state secrets doctrine strikes between fundamental principles
of our liberty, including justice, transparency, accountability
and national security. Although as judges we strive to honor
all of these principles, there are times when exceptional circumstances
create an irreconcilable conflict between them.
On those rare occasions, we are bound to follow the Supreme
Court’s admonition that “even the most compelling necessity
cannot overcome the claim of privilege if the court is ultimately
satisfied that [state] secrets are at stake.” United States
v. Reynolds, 345 U.S. 1, 11 (1953). After much deliberation,
we reluctantly conclude this is such a case, and the plaintiffs’
action must be dismissed. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment
of the district court.
The reason why I find it interesting that the 9th Circuit decided this case is because the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has a well-earned reputation as the "Kiss of Death" for any decision going up to the Supreme Court. In other words, the majority of cases decided by the 9th Circuit are OVERTURNED by the Supreme Court once they are appealed. So anybody celebrating the decision of this case...beware!
What are your thoughts on this case?
Should the Prisoners be able to sue the Federal Government for their detention?