July 6, 2007
-- by Dave Johnson
An appeals court dismissed the ACLU lawsuit to stop illegal NSA spying on Americans - writing that even though the spying is illegal they can't sue because:
1) They can't prove they are being spied on personally, and
2) They aren't allowed to find out if they are being spied on.
The appeals court ruled that the plaintiffs could not sue because they can't prove they were affected by the program, and at the same time, ruled that details about the program, including who was targeted, are state secrets.
But according to a Reuters report,
The ACLU plaintiffs included lawyers who said they could not defend clients accused of terrorism because the government, under the wiretapping program, could listen into attorney-client conversations.And, of course, the ruling is another product of Republican politicization of the judicial system,
But the two judges in the majority opinion said the plaintiffs had failed to prove they were under surveillance.
The two judges in the majority, Julia Smith Gibbons and Batchelder, are Republican appointees, named by Bush and his father, respectively.
Judge Ronald Lee Gilman, appointed by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, dissented. Gilman said he would uphold the ruling last year on the grounds that the program violated the 1978 law.
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