Court Accepts Executive Privilege On National Security

1953

In United States v. Reynolds, executive privilege is invoked in a civil case involving a plane crash that occurred when the government was testing secret electronic equipment. The widows of three civilians on the flight sue and demand details of the Air Force’s investigation into the crash. The government argues that full disclosure would breach national security. The U.S. Supreme Court holds that the need to protect national security is greater than the need to provide information pertinent to the plaintiff’s case.