Our fearless leader has had his first strikeout on domestic wiretapping outside of FISA. A federal judge has sided with the ACLU and others to find warrant-less wiretapping a violation of the First and Fourth Amendments, and and overstepping of the line between branches.
Some of the better quotes from Judge Taylor:
It was never the intent of the Framers to give the president such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights …
… the court finds defendants’ arguments that they cannot defend this case without the use of classified information to be disingenuous and without merit …
… the president has acted, undisputedly, as F.I.S.A. forbids …
and quoting Chief Justice Earl Warren:
“Implicit in the term ‘national defense’ is the notion of defending those values and ideas which set this nation apart.”
And of course there’s the routine non-sense from the other side. Dennis Hastert:
America cannot stop terrorists while wearing blinders … We stop terrorists by watching them, following them, listening in on their plans, and then arresting them before they can strike. Our terrorist surveillance programs are critical to fighting the war on terror and saved the day by foiling the London terror plot.
Completely beside the point of course; see my post from yesterday.
And of course, our fearless Attorney General:
… we will continue to utilize the program to ensure that America is safer.
The latter refers to the fact that both sides agreed to a stay for the time being, i.e. they won’t enforce Judge Taylor’s order to stop the program quite yet. Of course, the point here is that the Administration has consistently failed to make that case that this program fails to make ‘America safter’.
Anyway, this will of course be appealed; hence, it’s only strike one. I figure they get two more shots, once in front of an appeals court, once in front of the Supreme Court. Let’s hope the latter doesn’t walk them …
Update: I read the whole decision; it doesn’t take long and I recommend it. It’s well written and well reasoned. I’d go into more detail, but as usual Ed Brayton beat me to it. He’s got a pretty nice summary here.