Courts have largely "acquiesced" to government assertion of the state secrets privilege, according to a 53-page report just released by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The report also discussed the committee’s intent to introduce new legislation to shore up judicial review of the privilege.
“In recent years, the executive branch has asserted the privilege more frequently and broadly than before," Secrecy News quoted the report as saying, "typically to seek dismissal of lawsuits at the pleadings stage. Facing allegations of unlawful Government conduct ranging from domestic warrantless surveillance, to employment discrimination, to retaliation against whistleblowers, to torture and ‘extraordinary rendition,’ the Bush-Cheney administration has invoked the privilege in an effort to shut down civil suits against both Government officials and private parties. Courts have largely acquiesced."