Thursday, August 17, 2006

Judge rules NSA wiretapping unconstitutional

Judge Anna Diggs Taylor's ruling was in response to an ACLU lawsuit.

She said the taps violate free speech and privacy rights. I'm not so sure about the free speech argument. The privacy argument is stronger, though a lot of people argue that the idea of a right to privacy is a myth.

In any case, this bumps the pressure on the government up several notches. I presume the government will appeal the decision, which could lead to a Supreme Court ruling depending on what the appeals court does.

Update: The Detroit Free Press has a bio of the judge.

Update II: Here's the text of the ruling, in PDF format.

Update III: The link is updated to note that the judge issued an immediate injunction against the taps, meaning this will be decided very quickly at the Appeals level.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this is heavy. Hopefully this will provide some momentum to clamp down on Bush's abuse of power. What really got me angry is not the domestic wiretapping itself, but the fact that Bush and Co. bypassed FISA...the court which ensures oversight of the executive WHILE providing quick and easy authorizations. FISA is NOT a hindrance to counterterrorism efforts.

I can already hear the right-wing propagandists..."Judge Taylor is a liberal activist!"
- Caracarn

8/17/2006 1:56 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Agreed on FISA. And the right-wing chorus has already begun.

The ruling is expected to be overturned on appeal. The question at that point is whether the Supreme Court will take it. They could avoid the whole mess by letting the appeals court ruling stand, or rejecting it an a technicality like the "standing" argument. But I'd really like to see a definitive ruling.

8/17/2006 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The underlying legal principle in all the arguments of the administration is that the president has the 'inherent' power.
I am no legal expert and I dont understand this............How does this reconcile with the federalists or the 'constructionists'
(like Justice Scalia) who view the the liberals' ussage of common sense to read the law and constitution as totally wrong.
The constructionists argue about the 'intent' of the law and quite clearly the congress's resolution after the sept 2001 attacks
did not have the 'intent' of giving all the power the president thinks he has.
And all this aside, the judge will invite scorn from every right wing hack because of these lines she wrote in her opinion.
“There are no hereditary kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution,”

8/18/2006 8:47 AM  
Anonymous nkras said...

The right to privacy, IMHO, is found not in the 9th, but in the 4th and to some extent in the 3rd.

8/19/2006 10:38 PM  

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