Judge Rules Secret Wiretaps Unconstitutional

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by jrm, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    A federal judge in Detroit has ruled the Bush administration's secret wiretap program unconstitutional.

    Here's a link the opinion
     
  2. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    Apparently the CW is that given the makeup of the 6th Circuit COA, that is unlikely to stand up.
     

  3. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    The Plaintiffs allege the government violated their First Amendment rights?!?!

    How does that work? I don't understand how the government collecting information about who they contacted overseas abridges their freedom of speech or right to peaceably assemble. The government just made note of the fact that they did, right?

    Well if the damage is already done and is irreparable, why are they wasting the court's valuable time? :twisted:
     
  4. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    You are getting your wiretapping methods slightly confused.
    1. Court ordered wiretap (taped the entire conversation) = OK
    2. FISA Court ordered sealed wiretap (taped the entire conversation and call records) of international calls to possible terrorists = Ok
    3. President Approved NSA wiretap (taped the entire conversation and call records) of of international calls to whoever the NSA wants to listen to that might remotely be a terrorist (no judicial oversight) = As of this ruling, not ok
    4. President Apporved NSA searching of phone company database records of local and national call details (basically the detailed phone bill of every call to or from AT&T customers) (international calls are covered under #3) (no judicial oversight) = As of this ruling, National Security Secret
     
  5. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    Whoops... :oops:

    Still don't understand how this affects the 1st Amendment rights of the plantiffs. Having conversations taped doesn't seem to prevent the plantiff from speaking their mind or associating with people. Just means there is a record of what they said and with whom who they have associated. I'd expect it would be a 4th Amendment issue (as they also allege).
     
  6. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    The 1st Am. argument is this:

    The knowledge that the government may be taping my conversation prevents me (or my business associates with whom I am speaking) from saying what they want to say, or from speaking at all. There is quite a bit of precedent that government action that "chills" speech is a 1st Am. violation.

    Irreparable harm:

    In order to get an injunction (one of the so-called "extraordinary remedies"), one must prove that he has been (or will be) irreparably harmed by the complained-of action. Irreparable harm is harm that cannot be "repaired" with money. Another way of saying this (perhaps making more intuitive sense) is that money damages will not or can not compensate the plaintiff for his injuries. It is commonly understood that money damages do not compensate someone for the loss or infringement of a fundamental right.
     
  7. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    I was just being a smarta$$ about the irreparable harm business, but thanks for the explanation. I have to say, though, I'd be willing to take some cash as compensation for the delay in receiving my GFL. :lol:
     
  8. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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  9. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    :shock:

    (Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and judicial abuse, announced today that Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, who last week ruled the government's warrantless wiretapping program unconstitutional, serves as a Secretary and Trustee for a foundation that donated funds to the ACLU of Michigan, a plaintiff in the case (ACLU et. al v. National Security Agency). Judicial Watch discovered the potential conflict of interest after reviewing Judge Diggs Taylor’s financial disclosure statements.

    According to her 2003 and 2004 financial disclosure statements, Judge Diggs Taylor served as Secretary and Trustee for the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan (CFSEM). She was reelected to this position in June 2005. The official CFSEM website states that the foundation made a "recent grant" of $45,000 over two years to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, a plaintiff in the wiretapping case. Judge Diggs Taylor sided with the ACLU of Michigan in her recent decision.

    According to the CFSEM website, "The Foundation’s trustees make all funding decisions at meetings held on a quarterly basis."

    “This potential conflict of interest merits serious investigation,†said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "If Judge Diggs Taylor failed to disclose this link to a plaintiff in a case before her court, it would certainly call into question her judgment."

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/5862.shtml


    http://stoptheaclu.com/archives/2006/08 ... -interest/
     
  10. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Even though the cell phones they wanted to tap were operating within Iraq, because the conversations were shunted through US hubs, they were subject to FISA restrictions.

    Alex Jimenez has not been found. Al Qaeda says they murdered him and and buried him. [/quote:121zkin9]

    Death by FISA
     
  11. M249

    M249 New Member

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    I will not give up freedom for security.

    Good ruling, Judge.