[Guest post by DRJ]
In January 2008, Jose Padilla sued John Yoo over Yoo’s advice to President George W. Bush regarding Padilla’s detention, the conditions of his confinement and the methods of his interrogation. Last week, the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice responded that these are all “matters of war and national security” that are beyond judicial authority and requested that Padilla’s case be dismissed:
“The Obama administration has asked an appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing former Bush administration attorney John Yoo of authorizing the torture of a terrorism suspect, saying federal law does not allow damage claims against lawyers who advise the president on national security issues.
Such lawsuits ask courts to second-guess presidential decisions and pose “the risk of deterring full and frank advice regarding the military’s detention and treatment of those determined to be enemies during an armed conflict,” Justice Department lawyers said Thursday in arguments to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.”
Yoo is being represented by Miguel Estrada who argued dismissal is appropriate because “the case interfered with presidential war-making authority and threatened to ‘open the floodgates to politically motivated lawsuits’ against government officials.” The Obama Administration agreed on narrower grounds, claiming Yoo could still be subject to criminal prosecution or State Bar disciplinary proceedings.
H/T Neo, with my thanks.