Congress has, in the last few years, toyed with the idea of attempting to rein in the executive’s increasing reliance on the state secrets privilege as a means of escaping the possibility of accountability. The Author examines one high-profile case, that of Binyam Mohamed and other plaintiffs claiming that they had been subject to extraordinary rendition, torture, and prolonged detention. The Mohamed litigation offers evidence of a disturbing trend of U.S. courts retreating to formalistic reasoning to extend unwarranted deference to the executive branch in security-related contexts. In this essay the Author limits her analysis to the recent jurisprudence surrounding the state secrets privilege, placing the formalist decision-making of the Mohamed court in juxtaposition with other nations’ jurisprudence.
38 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 1629 (2012)