Courts Unlikely to Block Release of Torture Pics

White House has slim hopes for appeal, may look to Congress
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2009 6:06 AM CDT
U.S. senators Joe Lieberman, left, and Lindsey Graham, during a visit to Warsaw. The senators are in talks to introduce a rider that would block the publication of photos of detainee abuse.   ( AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama has said he wants to prevent the publication of photos depicting abuse of  detainees, but legal experts say the White House has an uphill battle in reversing the court decision to release them. The administration thinks that the Bush-era lawyers did not make a sufficiently strong case in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit and wants to appeal. But the law forbids claimants from suddenly raising new arguments, Politico writes.

"I just offhand don’t think they have a whole lot of paddles in their canoe at this point," said one civil litigation expert. Rather than go through the courts, experts say, the White House might have a better chance of blocking the photos' release via Congress. Joe Lieberman recently said he and Lindsey Graham were discussing adding a provision to a pending bill that would "make it hard if not impossible to release any past photos."