August 17, 2006


Judge Nixes Warrantless Surveillance (SARAH KARUSH, Aug 17, 2006, AP)

A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.

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.

Even had it not been filed by the ACLU on behalf of intellectuals, it's impossible for Democrats to defend this in midterm debates.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 17, 2006 2:18 PM

A Jimmy Carter appointee - of course!

Posted by: obc at August 17, 2006 3:40 PM

How in the world do you gain standing based on the assertion some policy may make it difficult for you to do your job?

Posted by: kevin whited at August 17, 2006 3:57 PM

Nothing matters except deposing Bush.

I got an email from an old colleague that defies description. It was figuratively foam speckled.

He's outraged because of high gas prices and thinks Arabs shouldn't be allowed to spend their oil gains on things like a ski run in the desert. Sorry he didn't send a link, but it looks like a great place to me.

Oh he's against the WoT too and didn't say who should be monitoring the sheiks expenditures, probably the UN.

He has no problem with hockey rinks in California or covered football stadiums in the frozen north so fans don't have to freeze while they cheer on their favorite teams. I wonder if he'll ever speak to us again after, in the most reasonable way possible, I sent him an email pointing out the inconsistencies in his diatribe.

Posted by: erp at August 17, 2006 4:41 PM


Allow me: Ski Dubai

I am going to Dubai in a couple of weeks. Maybe I'll send a postcard!

Posted by: Rick T. at August 17, 2006 6:27 PM

Kvin: That's the first thoought that came to my mind, too. How do "journalists, scholars and lawyers" have standing in this?

And how did this case come up in Detroit of all places? I thought the DC circuit had jurisdiction in these cases?

Posted by: ray at August 17, 2006 7:47 PM

Rick T, Be sure to take a run and have your picture taken on the lift. This blog is amazing. There is nothing so obscure that one of bros doesn't come with the answer.

Posted by: erp at August 17, 2006 7:57 PM

But erp, doesn't he want clean air????

Posted by: Sandy P at August 17, 2006 10:11 PM

And how did this case come up in Detroit of all places?

Venue shopping.

It's my understanding that the 6th is one district, unlike other districts, that hasn't had such a case overturned on appeal, and thus setting precedent applicable to the rest of the judges. So this judge was free to legislate her conscience. The ACLU knows that this'll get overturned eventually, too, but in the mean time, they've got a ruling around which they can form their propaganda. At least that was the plan until last week...

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 17, 2006 10:30 PM

Sandy, clean air? Are you referring to our erstwhile colleague or Rick T?

Posted by: erp at August 18, 2006 8:16 AM