A federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that notorious UC Berkeley law professor John Yoo can be sued by a prisoner who was tortured. Yoo was the primary legal architect of the nation's torture regime under George W. Bush, formulating interrogation policy and then writing legal memos to justify the harsh treatment of prisoners. The suit was brought by Jose Padilla, a US citizen who was tortured after being accused of plotting with Al Qaeda to blow up a so-called "dirty bomb." In handing out the ruling, Judge Jeffrey White said Padilla had the right to sue "the alleged architect of the government policy."
Because Yoo was an employee of the Bush Justice Department when he wrote the torture memos, he is being defended now by Obama Justice Department lawyers, who had attempted to get the Padilla suit dismissed, but failed. It'll be interesting to see whether the Obama administration will keep defending Yoo zealously, and whether UC Berkeley will continue to justify keeping him on staff if he loses the Padilla lawsuit.