Ninth Circuit dismissed CIA rendition suit on state secrets grounds

On September 8, 2010, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court's dismissal of a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against a Boeing subsidiary in connection with its alleged role in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) extraordinary rendition program. The plaintiffs alleged that San Diego-based Jeppesen Dataplan knowingly aided in the rendition and subsequent torture of terror suspects by the CIA. Before Jeppesen could file an answer to the original complaint, the Department of Justice (DOJ) intervened and asserted the state secrets privilege, arguing that fact-finding in the case could jeopardize national security. The district court dismissed the case and a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit overturned the ruling on appeal. The DOJ then asked the Ninth Circuit to reconsider the case with a full panel, and was granted an en banc rehearing. The Ninth Circuit held that it would be impossible for the suit to proceed without inevitably compromising national security.



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