Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger
You may have missed this story in the corporate media. It is an issue that is near and dear to my heart. It seems that a Federal Judge has dismissed a case brought by Jose Padilla and others against Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush administration officials, for a very interesting reason.
“Here’s the main thrust of Judge Richard Mark Gergel’s decision to dismiss Jose Padilla’s Bivens suit against Donald Rumsfeld and other high level Bush officials who denied him his Constitutional rights. “The Court finds that “special factors” are present in this case which counsel hesitation in creating a right of action under Bivens in the absence of express Congressional authorization. These factors include the potential impact of a Bivens claim on the Nation’s military affairs, foreign affairs, intelligence, and national security and the likely burden of such litigation on the government’s resources in these essential areas. Therefore, the Court grants the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. Entry 141) regarding all claims of Plaintiffs arising from the United States Constitution.” Basically, the “special factors” in this case mean Padilla can’t sue for having been tortured and denied counsel.” Firedoglake
Just so you have all the facts, here is Judge Gergel’s full decision. I have also provided a link to the Bivens case that created the action that the Padilla case was attempting to utilize to sue Rumsfeld, et al. Bivens It is a shame that a plaintiff’s case can be dismissed because it might be too “messy” for the government to actually have to admit that they tortured someone!
Two questions come to mind after reading the Padilla and Bivens decisions. When will the Obama Department of Justice follow the rule of law and allow victims to sue for the illegal torture that the Bush Administration ordered and authorized? Was Judge Gergel correct in dismissing the case on the grounds that he stated? I am sure that you might have some more questions.
At least now I understand why the Republicans didn’t filibuster this judge when President Obama nominated him for the seat.