On February 19, 1980. the Supreme Court handed downs its decision in the case of Snepp v. United States. The Court based its decision on the writs of certiorari filed by Snepp and the government. There were no briefs or oral arguments on the merits of the case. The above quotes serve as more than a mere backdrop to the Snepp case. Whether the decision was rendered out of a concern that the actions of persons such as Mr. Agee may lead to the deaths of Central Intelligence Agency (hereinafter sometimes referred to as CIA) operatives, such as Mr. Welch's murder, whether it was a reaction to the breach of the Supreme Court's confidentiality, or whether, as is most probably the case, the decision was based upon a combination of these concerns, it is clear that the decision did not adhere to applicable legal principles, nor did it follow the precedents of similar cases.
Frederick W. Whatley,
Snepp v. United States,
30 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol30/iss2/8