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.
''Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution,'' Taylor wrote in her 43-page opinion.
''By holding that even the president is not above the law, the court has done its duty,'' said Ann Beeson, the ACLU's associate legal director and the lead attorney for the plaintiffs.
The NSA had no immediate comment on the ruling.
Taylor dismissed a separate claim by the ACLU over data-mining of phone records by the NSA. She said not enough had been publicly revealed about that program to support the claim and further litigation could jeopardize state secrets.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Federal District Judge Throws Out Warrantless Wiretapping
What a thought, that the Bush Administration might have to abide by the rule of law. I know that seems to be far beyond the comprehension of Administration insiders. Good to see this, the program was pretty blatantly illegal and the closest thing to a check on the executive lately has been Arlen Specter trying to pass a bill to make what they're already doing legal.