In August 2002, [John Yoo], then an attorney in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, wrote a formal opinion letter advising that interrogation techniques are not torture unless they inflict pain equivalent to "organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death." The new head of the Office of Legal Counsel, Jack Goldsmith, later withdrew Yoo's opinion.Goldsmith, now a Harvard law professor, explains in his book, The Terror Presidency, that Yoo's reasoning was "legally flawed" and "tendentious? It seemed "more an exercise of sheer power than reasoned analysis? Even so, was it the proximate cause of any mistreatment of [Jose Padilla]?In pressing these wide-ranging claims, Padilla's lawyers face daunting legal obstacles. Unlike most damages suits for violations of basic rights, civil rights law does not authorize their lawsuit. By necessity, Padilla's suit rests directly on the Constitution. While the Supreme Court has authorized suits for damages based solely on violations of the Constitution, it does so sparingly-when the violations would not otherwise be subject to judicial or effective oversight and, even then, only if no special factors weigh against the wisdom of creating a new cause of action.