Judges Show Skepticism in Federal Secrecy Cases Since late July, judges in three separate federal cases have ruled against the government's state secrets motions, refusing to kill a lawsuit based on government statements that documents in the case would threaten national security if publicized. The three recent rulings preserved dozens of lawsuits on the NSA's warrantless wiretapping.
NPR logo

Judges Show Skepticism in Federal Secrecy Cases

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6140854/6140855" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Judges Show Skepticism in Federal Secrecy Cases

Law

Judges Show Skepticism in Federal Secrecy Cases

Judges Show Skepticism in Federal Secrecy Cases

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6140854/6140855" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Since late July, judges in three separate federal cases have ruled against the government's state secrets motions, refusing to kill a lawsuit based on government statements that documents in the case would threaten national security if publicized.

The three recent rulings preserved dozens of lawsuits on the NSA's warrantless wiretapping. A federal judge in Oregon has been reluctant to return one such document to the government for protective custody.

Lawyers involved in similar cases against the government say they hope — but don't know for sure — that judges are becoming more skeptical about the government's use of the state secrets privilege.