THE MAGAZINE

Elsewhere in the Courts: 9-11

A federal appeals court has ruled that the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Christine Todd Whitman, cannot be held liable for announcing that the air around the fallen Twin Towers was safe after the 9-11 attacks. Whitman made the claims on behalf of the White House even though scientific reports showed that the air quality could be hazardous. The court ruled that, despite this evidence, holding government officials liable would be dangerous because it might make public officials hesitant about making such announcements in the future. A lower court had refused to dismiss the case, ruling that Whitman’s statements were “conscience-shocking.”

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