Second Circuit Orders Release of Redacted OLC Aulaqi Memo

A big morning for courts and national security… next up is this immensely significant decision from the Second Circuit in New York Times v. Department of Justice, which, among other things, orders the public release of a redacted version of the OLC’s legal memorandum that apparently provides the legal rationale for the targeted killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi. The panel also rejected the government’s Glomar responses and required the production of a Vaughn index to the court, along with public disclosure of a redacted Vaughn index.

There will be lots to say about this major opinion going forward, including whether the government will pursue en banc (given the unanimous and balanced panel–Newman, Cabranes, and Pooler, JJ., seems like a stretch), and or Supreme Court review. I’ll hope to have some thoughts of my own later today. 

About the Author(s)

Steve Vladeck

Co-Editor-in-Chief of Just Security and Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law. Follow him on Twitter (@steve_vladeck).