An appellate judge has dealt a setback to attorneys representing an inactive Islamic charity in Southern Oregon. April Baer reports that a ruling late Wednesday changes the game for Al Haramain.
The attorneys for Al Haramain are trying to prove that the government illegally listened in on their conversations with their clients. They're also fighting the government's claim that the charity's American arm was linked to terrorists.
Much of the case rests on a document that the Treasury Department accidentally released to Al Haramain's attorneys.
It was a log of phone calls that seemed to show the NSA had been monitoring calls between the charity's officers and their attorneys.
Judge Vaughn Walker has agreed with government lawyers' contention that the document, as a state secret, can't be used as evidence. But he did offer the plaintiffs some hope, giving them thirty days to re-file their claim, using other evidence.
Attorneys for Al Haramain said in the past that the call log was their smoking gun. But lawyer Jon Eisenberg says now he can use other evidence that's come to light since the case was first filed.