1948 Miltary Plane Crash Under Scrutiny, Could Affect 1953 Supreme Court Decision

Remember that 1948 military plane crash we discussed here, and the Government's misrepresentation as to its cause, which now casts in doubt the viability of the 1953 Supreme Court decision Reynolds v. US? The 1953 Reynolds decision established the military and state secrets privilege. Georgetown's Jonathan Turley says it is ''the bedrock for an entire superstructure'' of national security law."

It's back in the news today. If the victim's daughter is correct, and the U.S. lied about the crash to the Court, what does it mean?
If the military did lie to the Supreme Court about the nature of the accident report, [the daughter] Loether's discovery casts doubt on the landmark Supreme Court decision. Few observers expect the petition to change law or government policy, but it could serve as an important lesson about the potential consequences of expanding the government's homeland security powers, as the Bush administration has tried to do, in part relying on United States v. Reynolds.

One specialist in national security law who is critical of the Reynolds decision said the Supreme Court's response to this unusual petition could have wide implications.

''Reynolds is already used in an abusive fashion, but if the court remains silent those abuses will be magnified significantly,'' said Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University. ''If the government is not held to account in the face of obviously false statements, it's hard to see what limitations exist.''
Thanks to Jim Capozzola at Rittenhouse for a heads-up on the article.

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