Monday, December 13, 2010

UPDATE:  Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., 08-15693

Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan is undoubtedly heading to the Supreme Court. In a nutshell, this case deals with plaintiffs who were former CIA detainees who were allegedly tortured by various CIA operatives overseas. Jeppesen Dataplan apparently is a subsidiary of Boeing and was responsible for the private jets that were used to transport these prisoners from country to country. At the heart of this controversy was the following issue:  Does the States Secrecy doctrine of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government trump an individual's right to have his day in court?

Three-Judge Panel Opinion: 563 F.3d 992 (9th Cir. 2009)
Order Taking Case En Banc: 586 F.3d 1108 (9th Cir. 2009)
Date of Order Taking Case En Banc: October 27, 2009
En Banc Order: 614 F.3d 1070 (9th Cir. 2010)
Date of En Banc Order: September 8, 2010.
Mandate issued November 2, 2010.

Status: Affirmed district court's dismissal of action brought under the Alien Tort Statute.

Members of En Banc Court: Alex Kozinski, Mary M. Schroeder, William C. Canby, Michael Daly Hawkins, Sidney R. Thomas, Raymond C. Fisher, Richard A. Paez, Richard C. Tallman, Johnnie B. Rawlinson, Consuelo M. Callahan, Carlos T. Bea

Subject Matter: Appeal of district court's dismissal of Alien Tort Statute action by foreign nationals allegedly transferred in secret to foreign countries for detention and interrogation pursuant to the extraordinary rendition program operated by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Holding: The United States government's valid assertion of the state secrets privilege warranted dismissal of the litigation under United States v. Reynolds, 345 U.S. 1, 11 (1953), because there was no feasible way to litigate defendant's alleged liability without creating an unjustifiable risk of divulging state secrets.