Thursday, August 17


Judge nixes warrantless wiretaps.

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.

As Shayana Kadidal said in a piece on The Huffington Post, "One hopes this will put a halt to the various Congressional attempts to whitewash the program by passing a statute purporting to legalize it, since Congress can't rubber-stamp a program that violates the Constitution."

UPDATE: Right-wing talk show hosts seem supremely confident that the Circuit Court will reverse the ruling. They may be right. This enlightening Detroit Free Press profile on Judge Taylor includes the caveat:

But even if Taylor harpoons the spying program, experts said, the decision likely would be overturned by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Given the composition of the 6th Circuit and its previous rulings in related areas, it seems more likely to favor national security over civil liberties if that issue is squarely presented," said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia. "And that's what this case is all about."

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Anonymous Libby said...

Horray for the Honorable Judge. It's a good day for the judiciary.

10:30 PM  

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