Wilson v. Lewis, Rove and Cheney, et al

Valerie Plame Wilson and Joseph Wilson filed suit this afternoon in federal court in Washington alleging that their constitutional rights were violated by I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Karl Rove, Vice President Dick Cheney. The Wilson's contend that they suffered damages as a result of the leaking of Plame's CIA work by Administration officials. The complaint alleges eight separate claims for relief, including civil conspiracy, civil rights conspiracy, public disclosure of private facts and others. Of counsel for the plaintiffs in the case is noted constitutional attorney Erwin Chemerinsky.

My quick read? This is not a frivolous case designed to strong-arm anyone into an apology or a big payday. Nor is it a sweepingly powerful complaint that will send shivers through the spines of federal attorneys. It's a case that will be won or lost upon the law-- of executive privilege, governmental immunity, that sort of thing-- and not upon the facts, which seem fairly clear-cut after all the work special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald did during his investigaton. Also, clearly, since it is a political complaint as much as it is a legal one it will involve a political defense as well as a legal one. And it's pretty much a cinch that the case will not be resolved-- even by a quick government win on motions-- before this November's elections.

More later.

By Andrew Cohen |  July 13, 2006; 4:30 PM ET
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I'm not a Rove fan by any means. But I find Plame/Wilson's claims to be weak. They think Rove & Co. "outed" Valerie out of spite to punish Mr. Wilson. I think it's more likely that they inadvertantly outed her in their attempt to demonstrate that Wilson went to Africa not at the White House or State Dept's behest, but rather he was sent by the CIA. Rove & Co's actions were despicable, mean, petty, and small, but I don't believe they were intentionally criminal or tortious. But I suppose a jury will decide...

Posted by: CT | July 14, 2006 12:05 PM

interesting statement from a man that supported the presidents right to lie about the NSA wiretapping...jeff...

you're a snake, and need to be held down with a forked stick...


Posted by: that's an | July 15, 2006 07:04 PM

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