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Jun 17, 2009, 8:17:43 PM6/17/09

June 17, 2009
New State Secrets Position Coming Soon, Holder Says
Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. says the Justice Department will be making
recommendations soon for revising the state secrets privilege.

In testimony this morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder told
senators to expect the recommendations within days, perhaps by tomorrow,
when the committee is scheduled to consider legislation on the topic. He
gave no hints about the direction the department is thinking of taking.

"We have some proposals we've been working on that I think we will make
public within days," Holder said.

He added that he thinks the recommendations "will be sufficient" to address
the concerns of legislators who think the Bush administration overused the
privilege to shield documents and other materials related to national
security. The Obama administration has so far continued a similar use of the
privilege, even as courts such as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th
Circuit have chipped away at it.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) warned Holder that, if
senators don't hear the Justice Department's views on the privilege, "we
will go ahead and mark up the legislation."

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