Nadler’s State Secrets Bill Passes House Judiciary Subcommittee
By Andrew Ramonas | June 11, 2022 7:06 pm

The House Judiciary constitution, civil rights and civil liberties subcommittee passed the state secrets bill sponsored by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) by voice vote this afternoon, Congressional Quarterly reported.

Nadler and many Democrats criticized President Bush’s frequent use of state secrets privilege to keep information classified. The legislation would create rules for invoking the state secrets privilege and allow federal courts to review the justification of its use.

“In order for the rule of law to have any meaning, individual liberties and rights must be enforceable in our courts,” Nadler said in a statement today before the subcommittee. “Rights without remedies cease to be rights. We all understand the need to protect national security, but both individual justice and national security can and must be protected. The government simply cannot be allowed to hide behind unexamined claims of secrecy.”

President Obama has invoked the privilege three times so far during his presidency. The House Judiciary Committee invited the Justice Department to testify about the state secrets privilege last week, but the DOJ declined.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is still considering its version of the state secrets bill sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). It postponed a vote on the bill today after Republicans criticized the merits of the legislation.

“This legislation is not only unnecessary, but very harmful,” said Assistant Minority Leader Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting today.

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