Court Decision Means Peril to the Chief

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WASHINGTON: Ken Starr lost Webb Hubbell last week and still doesn't have Monica, but he got a consolation prize from the courts on Tuesday: The Secret Service is one step closer to singing. A federal appeals court rejected the service's plea to remain silent and seconded a lower court decision that if a previously nonexistent "protective function privilege" should indeed exist to keep presidential security tight, it is up to Congress to create it.

Special ReportA Republican Congress is unlikely to bail Clinton out. But TIME White House correspondent Jay Branegan says that although the White House will rue the decision for selfish reasons, the Secret Service is genuinely worried about future presidents ducking out of agents' earshot -- and into danger. "They sincerely think the next assassination of a president will be on Ken Starr's hands," he says. For that reason, an appeal to the Supreme Court seems likely -- and that of course would be fine with the White House; that court is on break until October.