Thursday, November 05, 2009


Executive to implement extraordinary rendition

“We decline to create, on our own, a new cause of action against officers and employees of the federal government,” Chief Judge Dennis G. Jacobs wrote in a 59-page majority opinion joined by six other judges.

Judge Jacobs said that it was for the executive branch to “decide how to implement extraordinary rendition, and for the elected members of Congress — and not for us as judges — to decide whether an individual may seek compensation” from government officials for a constitutional violation.

Four judges issued dissenting opinions, in which they all joined, running a total of 117 pages. In one, Judge Guido Calabresi wrote, “I believe that when the history of this distinguished court is written, today’s majority decision will be viewed with dismay.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a former member of the Second Circuit appeals court, participated in the oral argument of the case last December, but was later elevated to the United States Supreme Court by President Obama and did not participate in the decision.

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