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The Steven Hatfill Case, Law Enforcement Leaks, and Journalist Privilege

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  1. Howard Wasserman says:

    He still needs the names to identify (and, presumably, t0 amend the complaint to name) the Doe defendants who, he alleges, violated his 5th and 1st Amendment rights. Plus, if the Privacy Act can be violated whether or not the information is private, then wouldn’t every leak of information about Hatfill by any agent after Ashcroft’s announcement be an independent violation of the Act?

    The Fifth Amendment Due Process claim is an odd one. Not only does it not allege a violation of the right to information privacy, it seems to be based on the theory that the constitution was violated by the various false and privacy-invading statements. But under *Davis v. Paul*, tortious conduct does not violate substantive due process simply because it is committed by public officials. So, unless he is making a *Lewis*-type “outrageous executive action”/shocks-the-conscience claim, I do not see how this claim works.

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