CRS Lawsuit, Marine Mammals, Declassification Funding

01.21.10 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

A federal court yesterday declined (pdf) to issue an injunction requiring the Congressional Research Service to immediately reinstate Col. Morris Davis, who was fired from CRS after publishing his personal opinions on the subject of military commissions. But DC District Judge Reggie Walton said that, based on the record so far, Davis’s claim that his termination by CRS violated the First Amendment appears to be “well-founded.”  (First reported by by Josh Gerstein in Politico, January 20.)  Davis is represented by the ACLU.

A lengthy rule governing the unintentional “taking” of marine mammals by the U.S. Navy, resulting in their harassment, injury, or death, was published in the Federal Register today.  The rule does not deal with the use of marine mammals for defense missions that was the subject of a recent Navy Instruction, but with the damage to these animals that is anticipated due to military activities conducted at the Naval Surface Warfare Center.  “Although the Navy requests authorization to take marine mammals by mortality, NMFS does not expect any animals to be killed,” according to the Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service.

The Office of Management and Budget has authorized a request for $5 million in next year’s budget to fund the new National Declassification Center that is supposed to coordinate and expedite the declassification of historical records.  The budget request, to be presented to Congress next month, was noted yesterday by William H. Leary of the National Security Council in a panel discussion at American University’s Collaboration on Government Secrecy on the new Obama Executive Order on national security classification.