Judge Rules Jose Padilla Can Sue John Yoo in Torture Suit

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco yesterday ruled Jose Padilla can sue former Bush terror policy maker John Yoo.

Mr. Padilla was held as an “enemy combatant” in solitary confinement for more than three years in the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C. Mr. Padilla, who was convicted of supporting terrorism and other crimes, demands that Mr. Yoo be held accountable for actions that Mr. Padilla claims led to his being tortured.

....In the 42-page ruling, Judge Jeffrey S. White of Federal District Court in San Francisco characterized the conflict as one that embodies the tension “between the requirements of war and the defense of the very freedoms that war seeks to protect.”

Judge White refused all but one of Yoo's immunity claims, finding "Yoo set in motion a series of events that resulted in the deprivation of Padilla’s constitutional rights.”

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    Heh (4.75 / 4) (#1)
    by Steve M on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 08:16:54 PM EST
    Niiiiiice.  One guess who appointed this judge!

    ninth circut often overturned (none / 0) (#2)
    by diogenes on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 09:18:26 PM EST
    Isn't the ninth circuit famous for making liberal rulings which are overturned on appeal to the SCOTUS?

    Kinda sorta (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Steve M on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 10:29:37 PM EST
    This is not the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, though, it is one district court judge from within the Ninth Circuit - and a Bush II appointee, as fate would have it.

    Overall the Ninth Circuit actually has a reveral rate no worse than average, but I recall there was one recent year where they were reversed a ton and that sorta became a talking point.


    No, and No (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Peter G on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 10:34:16 PM EST
    This new ruling, as stated in the post, is by a U.S. district judge (trial level) -- a GWB-appointed, conservative ex-prosecutor and big-firm corporate lawyer, by the way -- not by the Ninth Circuit (appeals level) court.  The Ninth Circuit has a very large membership (twice the size of any other Circuit) which is relatively diverse, politically speaking, considering they're all federal judges.  Some of the panels of the Ninth Circuit have rendered decisions labeled "liberal" by arch-conservatives, and some of those have been overturned by our present ultra-conservative Supreme Court.  I wouldn't draw any inferences from that about which decisions were more likely correct, which is what you seem to be implying, Dio.

    Yes (none / 0) (#17)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 11:13:42 AM EST
    and Jay Bybee is one of those who has had basically everything he's ever written reversed. But I dont think I'd call him a liberal.

    I'm sure someone in the Obama DOJ (4.50 / 2) (#4)
    by Anne on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 10:04:00 PM EST
    is already working on an amicus brief that raises state secrets and/or executive privilege as reasons why John Yoo cannot tell what he knows.

    Face it: Obama is going to do whatever he has to to keep the door closed on anything having to do with torture or terror policy - he cannot afford for that door to be opened any more than it already has been.

    Well, looks like I was right: (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 04:05:08 PM EST
    From Glenn (my emphasis):

    (5) I hope to write more about this with time permitting, but this decision (.pdf) by Bush 43-appointed federal Judge Jeffrey White from Friday -- refusing to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Jose Padilla against John Yoo, which alleges that Yoo violated numerous constitutional rights of Padilla's by virtue of his torture and other memos -- is both extremely significant and very well-reasoned.  Ironically, the Obama DOJ, in representing Yoo, raised many of Yoo's defining legal theories in order to argue for dismissal of the lawsuit (see p. 22:  the Executive is vested with war-related power and the judiciary has no role to play in such matters; judges should defer to the President; what was done to Padilla is too secret to allow judicial review, etc.).  It was those Yooian theories that were resoundingly rejected by Judge White, who held that the brutal, inhumane treatment to which Padilla alleges he was subjected plainly constitutes serious violations of his Constitutional rights and that Yoo's memos can be shown to be responsible for those violations.

    This is all getting to be entirely too predictable.


    At the very least, Yoo is going (4.33 / 3) (#5)
    by oldpro on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 10:05:38 PM EST
    to lose some sleep over this...and have to endure some annoying press, social and professional questions as he moves around.  He may stay home more, avoid the public more, call in sick more often.  Enrollment may drop, harrassment may increase, invitations will slow to a halt.

    His life will change.  It won't be torture but it won't be fun either.

    Well and good.

    OP, that was pretty poetic... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 02:18:33 AM EST
    and so wry it made me laugh. Thanks. Unfortunately, I think you've accurately summarized the worst that will ever happen to Yoo.  

    If Yoo's invitations slow, (none / 0) (#10)
    by Spamlet on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 11:52:41 PM EST
    maybe he can pay a visit to the loneliest woman in New York.

    Wow. (none / 0) (#23)
    by oldpro on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 12:44:39 PM EST
    There are people called 'social image consultants' for the climbers and wannabes?  Bet they're loving this publicity.



    If there was any justice in the world (3.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Repack Rider on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 01:51:21 AM EST
    Yoo would be interrogated by the methods he personally found to be within his own moral limits.

    Not that I would do that to anyone, even scum like him, or even a real terrorist.

    Odd isn't it (none / 0) (#15)
    by nycstray on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 02:02:44 AM EST
    Something we wouldn't subject someone to, may be the way to get them to understand what they thought was "okay" for others . . .  

    I have such a hard time wrapping my head around the so called justifications for this type of treatment of people.


    thats because (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jen M on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 11:24:45 AM EST
    people like Yoo aren't aware of 'the other' and if they haven't gone through it, they have no clue what it is like.

    No empathy, no imagination.


    I don't care whether it is later overturned (none / 0) (#3)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 09:44:52 PM EST
    I want that guy questioned under oath by someone who knows what s/he is doing and knows what to ask him.

    Yoo...can't handle the truth.

    An excellent spin (none / 0) (#8)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 10:46:23 PM EST
    on Colonel Jessep.

    So you have changed?? (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 11:14:44 AM EST
    So you have changed??

    Title goes here (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 08:46:15 AM CST
    Air America is a success?
    I look forward to Kos and Rove in a debate.  The most entertaining thing Rove could do is self-immolate on TV, with Kos handing him the Zippo. </metaphor>

    Metaphor as in defining desire? (1.00 / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 02:30:08 PM EST
    Yes. Yes indeed.

    Changed in what respect? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Repack Rider on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 12:26:06 PM EST
    I'm still the hyperpatriotic business owning, Black ex-felon employing, Obama voting, family loving, anti-Iraq war E-5 Army vet that I was the last time we communicated.

    Thanks for asking.  How about yourself?


    Just dropped by (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 02:29:11 PM EST
    yoo can't very well (none / 0) (#9)
    by cpinva on Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 11:39:48 PM EST
    plead the 5th, since that would be an admission of criminal acts. as proud as the bush administration was of their work, you'd think he'd be eager to testify, under oath.

    perhaps not. why do i get the feeling this is going to be a low-rent version of "a few good men"?

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#20)
    by NMvoiceofreason on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 11:36:19 AM EST
    yoo and his laywers might consider the pertinent part of 18 USC 2340A
    (a) Offense. - Whoever outside the United States commits or
        attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or
        imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to
        any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be
        punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

     (c) Conspiracy. - A person who conspires to commit an offense
        under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other
        than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the
        offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

    versus Abed Hamed Mowhoush, Abdul Jameel, Fashad Mohammed, Manadel al-Jamadi, Nagem Sadoon Hatab, Abdul Wali, Habibullah, Dilawar, Sajid Kadhim Bori al-Bawi, Sajid Kadhim Bori al-Bawi, Mohammed Sayari, Mohammed Sayari, and up to one hundred others who were murdered in the course of their interrogations.

    Also 18 USC 1117

    Section 1117. Conspiracy to murder

          If two or more persons conspire to violate section 1111, 1114,
        1116, or 1119 of this title, and one or more of such persons do any
        overt act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be
        punished by imprisonment for any term of years or for life.

    Yoo and his lawyers need to be worried about the death penalty under the torture statute or the felony murder rule, as the least he will get is life in prison, much less some flimsy civil suit for someone who is rapidly heading towards bankruptcy.


    Jeralyn... this is (none / 0) (#12)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 12:11:42 AM EST
    Another account worth deleting

    Yes!!!!!!!!! (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 14, 2009 at 09:36:44 AM EST