AELE Law Library of Case Summaries:

Employment & Labor Law for Public Safety Agencies


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State Secrets and Official Privilege


     Supreme Court declines to review lower court holdings that dismissed the claims of an ex-FBI translator who claims that she was fired after she reported security problems and incompetence.  Consideration of state secrets prevented her from maintaining her lawsuit. Edmonds v. Dept. of Justice, cert. den. #05-190, 2005 U.S. Lexis 8589, 74 U.S.L.W. 3321 (2005); #04-5286, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 8116 (D.C. Cir. 2005); 323 F.Supp.2d 65, 2004 U.S. Dist. Lexis 12355 (D.D.C. 2004) and 272 F. Supp. 2d 35, 2003 U.S. Dist. Lexis 12683 (D.D.C. 2003).


     The state secrets privilege was sufficient grounds to dismiss a race discrimination lawsuit brought against the CIA by an African American operations officer. Attempts by a court to safeguard Agency secrets “still entail considerable risk ... placing covert agents and intelligence sources alike at grave personal risk.” Sterling v. Tenet, #04-1495, 2005 U.S. Dist. Lexis 15945 (D.D.C. 2005).


     Memorandum in Support of the U.S. Assertion of State Secrets Privilege, filed by the Justice Dept. in Ahar v. Ashcroft, #04-CV-249 (E.D.N.Y. 2005), viewable at


     Federal appeals court overturns a District Court order that the CIA was required to release classified matter to a former employee that sued the agency for supposedly misclassifying as his proposed book as containing state secrets. Stillman v. C.I.A., #02-5234, 319 F.3d 546, 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 3437 (D.C. Cir. 2003).


See also:


• Library of Civil Liability Case Summaries: Freedom of Information

• Library of Employment Law Case Summaries: Discovery, Publicity and Media Rights


Law Reviews:


     “The Problems of Security and Freedom: Procedural Due Process and the Designation of Foreign Terrorist Organizations Under the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act,” by Eric Broxmeyer, Berkeley Journal of International Law, 22 Berkeley J. Int’l L. 439 (2004).


     “Forfeiting ‘Enduring Freedom’ for ‘Homeland Security’: A Constitutional Analysis of the USA Patriot Act and the Justice Department’s Anti-Terrorism Initiatives,” by John W. Whitehead, American University Law Review, 51 Am. U.L. Rev. 1081 (August, 2002).


     “Confidants or Tattle-Tales? An Examination of the ‘Protective Function Privilege’ Asserted by the United States Secret Service,” by Jennifer Hallman, Baylor Law Review, 51 Baylor L. Rev. 419 (Spring, 1999).


     “On Drawing a Bright Line for Covert Operations,” by Loch K. Johnson, American Journal of International Law, 86 A.J.I.L. 284 (April, 1992).


   “Access to Information and Privacy: The Ten Information Commandments,” University of Cincinnati Law Review, 55 U. Cin. L. Rev. 745 (1987).