Thursday, August 17, 2006

Judge rules warrantless wiretapping program unconstitutional

A victory nonetheless in the Litterbox Wars but this fight isn't over. It is a given that the administration would appeal to the Supreme Court and this is where it will get ugly. A federal appeals judge has ordered the NSA program halted for she ruled that it is unconstitutional.

DETROIT - 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.

The Culture of Nixonian politics which has its mantra that says. "It's not illegal if the president does it" needs to be stopped right here and now, otherwise we will replace our system of checks and powers with a system where two branches of government are subservient to the first. This is not what the founding Fathers intended. They did not intend to turn the president into a king accountable to no one.

Federalist Paper #51
In order to lay a due foundation for that separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of government, which to a certain extent is admitted on all hands to be essential to the preservation of liberty, it is evident that each department should have a will of its own; and consequently should be so constituted that the members of each should have as little agency as possible in the appointment of the members of the others. Were this principle rigorously adhered to, it would require that all the appointments for the supreme executive, legislative, and judiciary magistracies should be drawn from the same fountain of authority, the people, through channels having no communication whatever with one another. Perhaps such a plan of constructing the several departments would be less difficult in practice than it may in contemplation appear. Some difficulties, however, and some additional expense would attend the execution of it. Some deviations, therefore, from the principle must be admitted. In the constitution of the judiciary department in particular, it might be inexpedient to insist rigorously on the principle: first, because peculiar qualifications being essential in the members, the primary consideration ought to be to select that mode of choice which best secures these qualifications; secondly, because the permanent tenure by which the appointments are held in that department, must soon destroy all sense of dependence on the authority conferring them.
The only problem is the Chimpeviks have strayed from the spirit of Federalist Paper #51 in their Supreme Court appointments and this is where we will rue the day the Democrats turned around on bended knee and bowed down to the president's demand that they appoint his nominees who were supposedly moderate and would practice judicial restraint but are in reality right-wing extremist activist judges who use the law to promote corporatism and the accumulation of executive branch power. Any dumbass could see that these were no moderates, but what could you expect from the Gang of 14? It seems that Alito and Roberts know that they are beholden to the Litterbox for their jobs and quite clearly vote in favor of his interests instead of destroying "all sense of dependence on the authority conferring them. It seems that Bush has installed a Crony answerable to him only everywhere whether it is the Supreme Court or a regulatory agency and this my friends, will most likely screw us over when (not if) this case is appealed.

State secrets excuse has become a convenient one for the Litterbox Administration as Glenn Greenwald notes here, but was rejected here. However, the data-mining by ATT part of the lawsuit was dismissed for lack of confirmation.

This is an important victory but don't expect our Mainstream Media to broadcast it to the American people. It is more important to discuss the sick details of JonBenet Ramsey's final hours to the American people in their need to discuss the gory details. Just reading the link on Yahoo news is enough to disgust you but the media obviously feels the need to go into more detail when this should not be news that is broadcast to the whole American people as the most pressing issue of the day. I'm surprised Fox News even had a tiny link in its latest headlines bar about this judge nixing the NSA program but the whole front page was devoted to JonBenet and her killer. Apparently "Who is John Mark Karr?" was obviously more important than a judge standing up to the belief that the president who thinks he's a wartime president can trample over the Constitution. MSNBC has more of the same, and at, three of the four videos are on this case and the other is about a superbug that has some doctors worried. I do not feel the need to dignify their coverage by linking to it.

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