State Secrets Privilege Judicial Activism Masked As National Interests? Use Of State Secrets Privilege While use of the privilege has mushroomed in the past decade, it dates back to 1953 when the widows of three civilian engineers killed on a military flight sued the government for damages. The Supreme Court relied on military assertions that the crash report would expose top secret information about electronics being tested onboard; therefore, the court ruled, the widows' "need for evidence must yield ... to national security." Decades later, when the report was declassified, it turned out that it exposed no secret information but did reveal the fact that the officials had known the aircraft was unsafe. The state secrets privilege nonetheless has remained intact and been used by every administration since then to shield information and block litigation. --- Where in the US Constitution is this 'right' written out? This Court and past Courts have consistently ruled that there is a right for the State to keep secrets from it's own people in the name of those very people. Isn't this judicial activism? --- The state secrets privilege is an evidentiary rule created by United States legal precedent.