In the last 10 days, constitutional law professors, legal ethics experts and former government attorneys have banded together, through court filings, to fight Berkeley Law professor and so-called torture memoist John Yoo's appeal in the Padilla case (free reg. req.).
The three groups (comprised of names as notable as Erwin Chemerinsky, Deborah Rhode, Bruce Fein and Cruz Reynoso) are petitioning U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White to reject Yoo's appeal (free reg. req.) in Padilla's suit against the professor, according to SFGate.
"It is the essential role of the judicial branch to prevent the 'war on terror' from becoming the blank check for official torture that Yoo and the United States (Justice Department) seek," nine constitutional law teachers told the court.
Yoo denies any wrongdoing and says he never authorized torture. He appealed Judge White's refusal to dismiss the Padilla suit, saying allowing it to proceed "would interfere with presidential war-making authority."
The government lawyer group, including Fein, told White that the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel is counted on to "candidly" tell the president when his office is taking unconstitutional action. Yoo, according to them, jeopardized this credibility.
— Cynthia Foster