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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Famous quotes containing the words privilege, state and/or secrets:

    It is the privilege of greatness to give great enjoyment with trifling gifts.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)

    To place liberty in an indifferency, antecedent to the thought and judgment of the understanding, seems to me to place liberty in a state of darkness, wherein we can neither see nor say any thing of it.
    John Locke (1632–1704)

    Power, I said. Power to walk into the gold vaults of the nations, into the secrets of kings, into the holy of holies. Power to make multitudes run squealing in terror at the touch of my little invisible finger. Even the moon’s frightened of me. Frightened to death. The whole world’s frightened to death.
    R.C. Sherriff (1896–1975)