Supremes Turn Down McDermott


The Supreme Court says it won't hear Rep. Jim McDermott's appeal of the case brought by House Minority Leader John Boehner that involved the taping of a 1996 phone call and the subsequent leaking of its contents-- a discussion of how to respond to ethics charges against then House Speaker Newt Gingrich-- to newspaper reporters. (A D.C. appeals court ruled 5-4 in Boehner?s favor in May.)

McDermott, in a statement released this morning, says he knew the odds were against him since the Supreme Court accepts so few cases.

"Nonetheless, I thought that the constitutional principles presented-- the First Amendment protection of truthful speech and the separation of powers doctrine-- warranted the Court's attention. I pursued this case based on my belief in the people?s right to know, and I continue to believe it was my sworn responsibility to vigorously defend that right.?

McDermott must now pay $60,000 in damages and more than $800,000 in legal fees to Boehner.

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