Great news: Judge says terrorists can sue authors of torture memos

The order by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco is the first time a government lawyer has been held potentially liable for the abuse of detainees.

White refused to dismiss Jose Padilla’s lawsuit against former senior Justice Department official John Yoo on Friday. Yoo wrote memos on interrogation, detention and presidential powers for the department’s Office of Legal Counsel from 2001 to 2003…

White ruled that Yoo, now a University of California at Berkeley law professor, went beyond the normal role of an attorney when he helped write the Bush administration’s detention and torture policies, then drafted legal opinions to justify those policies.