WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court will not revive a lawsuit that former CIA operative Valerie Plame brought against former members of the Bush administration.
The court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.
A lower court last year threw out the lawsuit in which Plame and Wilson accused former Vice-President Dick Cheney and several former high-ranking administration officials of disclosing her identity to reporters in 2003. Plame and Wilson said that violated their constitutional rights.
The lawsuit named former presidential adviser Karl Rove; Cheney’s former top aide, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby; and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
The U.S. Court of Appeals said that Plame and Wilson did not meet the legal standard for constitutional claims, in part because the lawsuit hinges on alleged violations of the Privacy Act – a law that does not cover the president or the vice-president’s offices.
Armitage was the original source for a 2003 newspaper column identifying Plame as a CIA officer. At the time, her husband was criticizing the Bush administration’s prewar intelligence on Iraq and had become a thorn in the side of the White House. Rove also discussed Plame’s employment with reporters.
The leak touched off a lengthy investigation that resulted in Libby’s conviction for obstruction and lying to investigators. Jurors found that he told reporters about Plame and lied about it to the FBI and a federal grand jury. President George W. Bush commuted Libby’s sentence before he ever served a day in prison.
Nobody was ever charged with the leak itself and Plame’s lawsuit is one of the last remaining legal issues associated with the case.