The federal government should be held liable for defamation for anonymous, allegedly false statements made by senior Clinton administration officials to the press about the justification for the 1998 bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, the plant’s lawyer told the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday.

The nine active judges of the appeals court met in a rare full session Wednesday for 90 minutes to explore the scope of the political question doctrine, which largely blocks federal courts from digging into foreign policy decisions.

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