The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider reviving an attempt by Congress to limit the president's authority to withhold classified information from the nation's legislative branch.
The court said it will review a ruling that invalidated a law aimed at giving Congress more access to national security information.The justices are expected to announce their decision in 1989.
A federal judge had ruled the law violates the required separation of legislative and executive powers.
The battle between Congress and the president over classified information is a longstanding one.
But the case acted on Monday has more recent origins in a national security directive adopted by President Reagan in 1983.
The directive requires federal officials, before they are allowed access to classified information, to sign an agreement that they will not disclose the information.
The directive also established a standard form for officials to sign, promising they never will divulge classified or "classifiable" information without written permission from proper authorities.
Some members of Congress bridled at the directive, particularly the use of the word "classifiable." They said the presidential order restricts the free-speech rights of federal employees.
In other action Monday, the court:
- Agreed to decide whether states must continue to provide lawyers for indigent death row inmates after they have lost their initial round of appeals.
- Killed a lawsuit against the government stemming from the World War II mass detention of Japanese-Americans in U.S. prison camps. The court, without comment, left intact rulings that the veterans of the internment camps waited too long to file suit seeking compensation for property losses.
- Rejected an appeal by Kansas prosecutors challenging state laws that broadly justify using deadly force to defend someone's home or personal property.
- Let stand a ruling that a state may ban the possession of child pornography.
- Declined to further expand its study of drug testing in the workplace, rejecting an appeal by Justice Department employees who say such tests would violate their rights.
- Ruled that police in Pennsylvania did not violate the rights of a man suspected of drunken driving by failing to read the motorist his so-called Miranda warnings soon enough.
- Allowed public school officials in California to ban leaflets and school yearbook advertisements that promoted a student-run, lunch-hour Bible study group.