« Big Republican Get-Out-The-Vote Effort Coming | Main | Politicizing Security »


August 17, 2006

Judge Orders Immediate Halt To Wiretaps Without Warrants

-- by Dave Johnson

Judge nixes warrantless surveillance,

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.

Keep in mind that all this means is they have to start getting warrants -- follow the law and Constitution just like how we have always done it in this country.

So, how will the right react? Will they have respect for the Constitution and the law? We'll see.

OK, we're seeing. It's the usual -- attack the judge. For example, comments promoted by a post at Ace of Spades HQ,

Not only is she a Carter appointee, she is Black. Want to bet she was admitted to Yale on a Minority set a side? Maybe she's related to Conners, the other Black nut from Mo Town.
...
As said by Abraham Lincoln: The court has made thier decision. Now let's see them enforce it.
...
The judges and lawyers will doom this country.
Similarly at RedState,
The Justice Department should reply to this ruling by announcing that they are really busy monitoring the race and sex of all government employees to comply with "diversity" requrements. This task will render the DOJ unable to comply with this ruling for several....years.
...
Anna Diggs Taylor - appointed May 1979 by President Jimmy Carter
Confirmed by Democratically-controlled Senate in October 1979

One of Carter's last actions to destroy this country before he was booted from office. Ugh.

Remember, we're talking about requiring warrants, that's all.

Strata-Sphere writes, (apparently not knowing that there WERE warrants for all the taps mentioned),

Remember how phone calls and money transfers from Pakistan to the UK helped expose the plot details and the fact we were days away from its implementation. Recall how all the lefties from Lamont on have claimed America cannot be allowed to monitor terrorist communications with their associates here in the US and monitor their financial transfers to detect and stop the next 9-11. Well hold on folks, but another unelected judge has decided Terrorists need protection because we may listen in on their calls to the Holiday Inn reservation line and that risk is more dire than 3,000 + people dying in an attack (more hear at WaPo).
... OK Al Qaeda - it is now open season on Americans. Go to it. We are disarming.
... Lamont supporters at Kosland are all ecstatic that we have been ordered to surrender to Al Qaeda...
Which inspired comments:
You may believe all that nonsense about how we must uphold the constitution! How many times do you suicidal idiots have to be told that the constitution is NOT a suicide pact!
...
However, even if the Supreme Court ruled against the President, he could tell them to go urinate up a rope.
...
Anna Diggs Taylor, Clinton appointee. Campaigned in 1979 for Jimmy Carter. Ruled in favor of the ACLU to have nativity scenes removed from public property in Dearborn (Islamonazi haven) and Birmingham in 1984. Married to S. Martin Taylor who, according to his U of Michigan bio, is a DEMOCRAT.
Any questions?
This wingnut posts a picture of the judge and says,
[judge] rule in favor of the ACLU and its raft of Islamist, America-hating plaintiffs. ... She seems to hate America and fairness almost as much as the Plaintiffs do. She certainly hates a fair, impartial Judiciary. It's not just that she's a shameless liberal who always allows her politics to enter into her decisions. It's that she's so shameless she improperly interferes with cases that are not even hers.
And go read how this one cries and moans on and on about requring warrants.

Posted by Dave Johnson at August 17, 2006 10:57 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.seeingtheforest.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt-t.fcgi/2164

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Judge Orders Immediate Halt To Wiretaps Without Warrants:

» Judge nixes warrantless surveillance from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstituti [Read More]

Tracked on August 17, 2006 11:07 AM


Comments

The right immediately reacted by pointing out that this is just one judge, he was appointed by Carter, so he's a Democrat. I'm sure they're planning to just ignore this. It will have to work its way up to the Supreme Court.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 17, 2006 11:11 AM

Well, the enforcement question isn't as bad an issue for the pro-Constitution forces as the antis would have one believe. That's because people would have to actively DO something to keep the program going, whereas if they do nothing, the order is, in effect, enforced just as strictly as if U.S. marshals walked into the NSA and shut down the machinery.

And why would they do nothing? Because this ruling gives them reason to believe they could face criminal prosecution for continuing.

Or am I Pollyanna?

Posted by: Lex [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 17, 2006 11:28 AM

Full text of ruling by District Court Judge, Hon. Anna Diggs Taylor, who found that un-warranted (pun intended) wire-tapping and email surveilance was unconstitutional:

http://fl1.findlaw.com/news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/nsa/aclunsa81706opn.pdf

It is hard for me to understand how those who believe the current administration's weakening of the protections provided by our constitution doesn't present a threat to them. Our forefathers had been subjected to a government that was not "of the people" and knew personally those dangers.
Even if you believe that our current administration would not misuse ill-gotten information, can't you imagine that at some point a government could?
I cringe when I read someone write, "I'm not doing anything wrong. I don't have anything to hide." That always depends on who decides what is "wrong", who mandates what must be hidden. An American administration within my life span decided that being anti-war (Vietnam) was subversive and that planning a protest in favor of voting rights for minorities was seditious.
Those elected by the majority -even a very narrow majority- could secretively declare calls or emails to Oklahoma or Waco suspicious. National threats, McVeigh and Branch Davidians, resided there. Should your correspondence to anyone there be open to government scrutiny? Maybe. But I would certainly feel better if constitutional protections requiring a second branch of government to review this reasoning remained the practice. That's all the constitution requires, folks, a second opinion ... checks and balances.

While I'm ranting, this reminds me of another personally repulsive conservative (??) position: institutional prayer should be allowed in schools. We're an increasingly diverse country, right? So when an elected local school board somewhere establishes a policy of Islamic prayer what are you good Christians going to say?

Get it? The writers of our constitution wanted to anticipate all possibilities. This foundation for our form of government established protection for the least powerful though they were perhaps the most powerful of their day. Now that is worthy of respect.

Blogger "Onthfritz" opined elsewhere: Where do I begin? First, there is not a fixed and limited supply of "civil liberties" where an increase for one side means a decrease for the other. The opposite is true, and defending the liberties and human rights of one group of people strengthens those liberties for everyone else.
Second, the writer proposes a false dichotomy between the civil liberties of "criminals or terrorists" and those of "citizens that follow the law." There is this little thing called "innocent until proven guilty" that is the bedrock of justice in the US and probably the single most important underpinning of civil liberties. It's not an optional courtesy granted or withheld subject to the whim of the executive branch. It means that until proven otherwise in a court of law, everybody is assumed to be in the class of "citizens that follow the law" and entitled to the same rights and liberties.
Thirdly, the writer implies another zero-sum opposition between "national security" and "civil liberties", as though one comes only at the expense of the other. That's an extremely dangerous misconception that has enabled the worst tyrannies of the past century. The point of national security is to protect our civil liberties. At the same time, civil liberties provide the main defense of democracy against its greatest enemy - the emergence of authoritarian regimes from within the nation.

Wow! I wish I'd written that ... or said this (which Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower did), "Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels -- men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, we may never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."

Posted by: Arceyea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 3:09 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Remember me?



Email this entry to:


Your email address:


Message (optional):


Return to main page