Thursday, August 17, 2006

Idiot Judge Rules NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program Unconstitutional

via and

A Federal Judge in Detroit, Anna Diggs Taylor, ruled today that the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program is unconstitutional and must come to an immediate halt. 

Judge DiggsTaylor, a Carter appointee made her ruling on the heels of last weeks arrest of 24 individuals in Great Britain with plans to blow up 10 American jets killing up 3000 passengers.  Part of the investigative work on that case involved intercepts from this program.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency’s program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy as well as the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution.

“Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution,” Taylor wrote in her 43-page opinion.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs. They believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets of the program, which involves wiretapping conversations between people in the U.S. and people in other countries.

The government argued that the program is well within the president’s authority, but said proving that would require revealing state secrets.

The ACLU said the state-secrets argument was irrelevant because the Bush administration already had publicly revealed enough information about the program for Taylor to rule.

The Government will probably appeal and ask for a postponement.  I think the appeals court will likely overturn Judge DiggsTaylor ruling, especially given that the FISA court has previously held such programs to be with in the President's purview. 

United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, in Sealed Case No. 02-001:
The Truong court [United States v. Truong Dinh Hung, 4th Cir. 1980], as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. *** We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President's constitutional power.

It is just irritating that a Judge is such a f***ing moron.


Others:
Wizbang, Ankle Biting Pundits, Jawa Report, Say Anything

PS: Notice in Carter's biography his history of tossing over traditional American allies for Marxist regimes or even more oppressive and autocratic ones.

Update: John at Powerline agrees with me that the ruling was fairly ridiculous and ignored precedent. Additionally I am not a lawyer but I read the opinion and Judge DiggsTaylor effort to find standing really seemed like a stretch to me.

Update: Judge Taylor's ruling contains an admission that the NY Times revelation of this program did cause damage to National Security.

Update: More discussion on the legal reasoning here.

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