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RS National Affairs Daily » NSA Decision: A Striking Blow to Executive Power

August 18, 2006

I’m encouraged by this decision that no judicial oversight makes spying on Americans illegal. AND Lamont beating the pants off LIEberman. We’re on our way to taking over, at least, one house of Congress! Rolling Stone National Affairs Daily excerpts some of the decision, in two posts, that I’ve combined, for your perusal.

From the decision of District Judge Hon. Anna Diggs Taylor:
We must first note that the Office of the Chief Executive has itself been created, with its powers, by the Constitution. There are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all “inherent powers” must derive from that Constitution.

We have seen in Hamdi that the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution is fully applicable to the Executive branch’s actions and therefore it can only follow that the First and Fourth Amendments must be applicable as well.
[Part 2]
More Money Quotes From the NSA Decision

The wiretapping program here in litigation has undisputedly been continued for at least five years, it has undisputedly been implemented without regard to FISA and of course the more stringent standards of Title III, and obviously in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The President of the United States, a creature of the same Constitution which gave us these Amendments, has undisputedly violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial orders as required by FISA, and accordingly has violated the First Amendment Rights of these Plaintiffs as well.

In this case, the President has acted, undisputedly, as FISA forbids. FISA is the expressed statutory policy of our Congress. The presidential power, therefore, was exercised at its lowest ebb and cannot be sustained.

As Justice Warren wrote in U.S. v. Robel, 389 U.S. 258 (1967):

Implicit in the term ‘national defense’ is the notion of defending those values and ideas which set this Nation apart. . . . It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of . . . those liberties . . . which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.

— Tim Dickinson

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