State Secrets Privilege

The state secrets privilege is an evidentiary rule created by United States legal precedent. Application of the privilege results in exclusion of evidence from a legal case based solely on affidavits submitted by the government stating that court proceedings might disclose sensitive information which might endanger national security. United States v. Reynolds, which involved military secrets, was the first case that saw formal recognition of the privilege.

Following a claim of "state secrets privilege", the court rarely conducts an in camera examination of the evidence to evaluate whether there is sufficient cause to support the use of this doctrine. This results in court rulings in which even the judge has not verified the veracity of the assertion. The privileged material is completely removed from the litigation, and the court must determine how the unavailability of the privileged information affects the case.

Read more about State Secrets Privilege:  Function, Criticism, Calls For Reform, Quotes

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State Secrets Privilege - Quotes
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Famous quotes containing the words privilege, state and/or secrets:

    The privilege of absurdity; to which no living creature is subject, but man only.
    Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679)

    The blacksmith dropped his hammer, the carpenter his plane, the mason his trowel, the farmer his sickle, the baker his loaf, and the tapster his bottle. All were off for the mines, some on horses, some on carts, and some on crutches, and one went in a litter.
    —For the State of California, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)

    Thirty years ago I said, “But how can one be sick?” But now I say, “If only one could find the secret of not being sick, I would not exchange it for all the secrets in the world.”
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773)