An intellectual freedom blog with an emphasis on libraries and technology

Friday, July 06, 2007

Court of the Queen of Hearts

Updated below
In another example of the legal system imitating Alice in Wonderland the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals shot down a lawsuit which challenged the warrant-less surveillance of all of us. Because the plaintiffs, a group of lawyers and journalists led by the ACLU, "had no standing to sue" (meaning that they could not prove damage). In legalese, the decision vacates an order of a lower court and sent the case back to that court for dismissal.

Remember the Queen of Hearts in Lewis Caroll's story? How else do you wrap you mind around a case in which the secrecy protects the government from challenge because the people objecting to the loss of their rights can not pierce the veil of secrecy enough to find evidence they need to proceed with any legal remedy? Any lawyers care to comment?

Glenn Greenwald posted a lengthy and excelent analysis of this decision and its implications on his blog at It's well worth the read.

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