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August 27, 2009

Groups Sue White House Over Snitchline

Two conservative groups, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and the Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education, filed a lawsuit today over the flag@whitehouse snitchline set up by the Obama Administration. White House staff set up with email address to collect information on opposition to Obamacare.

The specific effort, which was launched on August 4 as part of the White House's "rapid response" Health Insurance Reform Reality Check, was quickly abandoned after members of Congress raised questions about it. Nevertheless, say the two groups filing suit, the information collection effort continues under another name and is part of an "unlawful pattern and practice to collect and maintain information" on the exercise of free speech, which "continues in violation of the Privacy Act and First Amendment even if the Defendants terminate a particular information-collection component due to negative publicity."

I haven't seen the complaint, but I don't expect fireworks from this. It's pretty hard to sue the government and very hard to sue the White House (just ask anyone who tried to sue President Bush, VP Cheney, and Karl Rove). I expect this is about publicity, rather than legal vindication, especially since the snitch program was taken down.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:18 PM

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