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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Essay on Case Analysis of Webster v. Doe (486 US 592) - Legal Issues

Essay on Case Analysis of Webster v. Doe (486 US 592) - Legal Issues

            Two important doctrines have been pronounced by the Supreme Court in the case of Webster v. Doe (486 US 592). 
            The first is that the language of Section 102 (c) of National Security Act which allows the termination of a CIA employee whenever the Director “shall deem such termination necessary or advisable in the interest of the United States” is couched in broad terms that even if the Congress did not preclude judicial oversight, review could not be made since the “court would have no meaningful standard against which to judge the agency’s exercise of discretion.”  Because the efficiency of CIA as an agency depends mainly on the reliability and trustworthiness of CIA employees, section 102 (c) has vested upon the Director of CIA broad power and authority to terminate the employment of any CIA employee for the purpose of protecting unauthorized disclosure of intelligence sources
            The second is that the district has full power and authority to review whether the Director of CIA violated the constitutional rights of respondent John Doe.  While it is true that the Director of CIA was given discretion to make decisions regarding the termination of employees such does not prevent the courts from inquiring into the violation of constitutional rights of the respondent.  As such the Supreme Court remanded the case back to the district court. 
            I disagree with the first doctrine enunciated by the Supreme Court.  The decision that the courts cannot interfere with the decision of the CIA Director simply because there could be no meaningful standard to determine whether he abused his discretion is a renunciation of the solemn duty imposed upon the courts by the US Constitution.  The principle of balance of power demands that the courts should look into the decisions and the exercise of discretion by the executive and the legislative branch.  This is simply put the power of judicial review.  If the courts will reneged on this obligation then no other department will perform their function.  The purpose of the same is to determine whether these co-equal branches gravely abused their discretion in the performance of their function.  The Supreme Court cannot merely abdicate this responsibility simply because the act was done “in the exercise of national security.” By doing so, the Supreme Court committed a serious infraction of the US Constitution.  It must be stressed that this nation affirms the democratic principles.  One of these principles is that the people are entitled to their right to property.  The Supreme Court cannot disregard this right in favor of perceived threats to national security which have no basis and unsupported by evidence.
            Secondly, even if it is true that there are certain acts that the courts cannot inquire into for purpose of determining whether the persons concerned properly exercised its discretion, the same should not be interpreted to mean that every Director of any federal agency is entitled to the same privilege.  While it may be true that the wisdom or policy behind some actions of the legislative branch or executive branch is beyond judicial scrutiny because these acts were done in the exercise of functions that have been delegated to them by the constitution such should not be interpreted to mean that the legislative branch and the executive branch may delegate this authority to the other department or agency.  Thus, once these powers have been delegated by these branches, it does not follow that these departments enjoy the same privileges by the delegating authority.  The privilege of judicial scrutiny should not be allowed to extend to the departments and agencies upon which these powers have been delegated otherwise the privilege is susceptible to being abused and violated.  It must be stressed that when the Director of CIA exercised his power to remove the CIA employee the action was not done directly by the Executive Branch as such the CIA director should not be entitled to the same privilege endowed upon the President. 

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