Thursday, August 17, 2006

Federal court finds warrantless eavesdropping unconstitutional, enjoins the program

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Federal court finds warrantless eavesdropping unconstitutional, enjoins the program

Seventh, the court made its scorn quite clear for the administration's Yoo theory of executive power because, as the court put it, "there are no hereditary kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution." Citing Youngstown again, the court made clear that even in time of war, and even with regard to the President's Commander-in-Chief powers, the President is subject to constitutional restrictions -- a proposition long unquestioned in our system of government until the Bush administration began inventing radical theories of executive power.

Finally, and really quite extraordinarily, the court (a) declared the NSA program to be in violation of FISA, the First Amendment and Fourth Amendment and (b) issued a permanent injunction enjoining the Bush administration from continuing to eavesdrop in violation of FISA.
and Glenn Greenwald also tells us of the heroic Judge Diggs Taylor,
brave author of this important opinion:

In 1979, Anna Diggs Taylor became the first black woman judge to be appointed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Nineteen years later, she became the first black woman Chief Judge for that circuit as well.

Taylor had great difficulty obtaining her first job as an attorney for the Office of Solicitor for the U.S. Department of Labor, despite graduating form the prestigious Yale Law School in 1957. Very few opportunities existed for a black woman in law at this time. In 1961, Taylor relocated from the Washington D.C. area to Detroit, Michigan. Here she was involved in both public and private practice until her appointment to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, on which she continues to serve. Taylor’s position has enabled her to open doors for other women and minorities to pursue and achieve their dreams. She strives for gender and racial equality in the law and currently serves on the Joint Steering Committee of the Gender and Racial Ethnic Fairness Task Forces for the Sixth Circuit.


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