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Senate Judiciary Vote On State Secrets Bill Postponed Again
Posted By Andrew Ramonas On June 18, 2009 @ 2:51 pm In News | Comments Disabled
The Senate Judiciary Committee postponed a vote on the Senate’s version of the state secrets bill  yet again, but Assistant Minority Leader Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said he would be willing to consider the legislation after the Justice Department releases its opinion on the bill which Attorney General Eric Holder said yesterday was coming out in “days.”
The legislation brought by Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has sat on the panel’s markup agenda for months as Republicans have said they want more time to consider the legislation. The bill would force the president to publically release an affidavit when the state secrets privilege is asserted to protect national security. It would also allow federal courts to review the justification of its use.
Kyl said the Justice Department does not support changes to the state secrets privilege, which President Obama has invoked three times. Holder would not give his position on the state secrets bill at a Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday.
“We should wait for a markup until we hear what DOJ says,” said Kyl, who opposes changes to the privilege.
Earlier this month, The House Judiciary constitution, civil rights and civil liberties subcommittee passed the House version of state secrets bill  by voice vote.
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