Yesterday’s ruling on the NSA’s warrantless wiretaps

Posted by: ST on August 18, 2006 at 9:55 am

By now you’ve all already heard the story about United States District Court (Detroit) Judge Anna Diggs Taylor’s ruling on the NSA’s warrantless wiretaps program, where suspicious calls originating in the US but going out overseas are sometimes monitored without a warrant.

(Read the opinion here)

Scanning the blogosphere this morning, I believe the place to go for the most comprehensive link roundups and background info on Judge Taylor is in Kim Priestap’s post at Wizbang.

After the initial outrage I (and a lot of others) felt upon reading Taylor’s ruling, I calmed down a bit after reading what the Detroit Free Press wrote back on August 7th about the likelihood of a ruling against the NSA’s warrantless wiretaps standing (Hat tip: Mary Katharine Ham at MM’s):

But even if Taylor harpoons the spying program, experts said, the decision likely would be overturned by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Given the composition of the 6th Circuit and its previous rulings in related areas, it seems more likely to favor national security over civil liberties if that issue is squarely presented,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia. “And that’s what this case is all about.”

We’ll see what the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has to say about it, because that’s where it will be headed next. I feel confident that this ruling will be overturned.

In the meantime, the Washington Post editorial page hits the right note today with its editorial titled: “A Judicial Misfire” – make sure to read it all. Taylor’s ruling was, as the WaPo aptly described it, all sound and fury – and if I may add, sounded suspiciously like judicial activism at its most potent.

Updated to add: How could I forget to comment on the reactions of the usual suspects? Of course there was happiness and celebration in the lefty blogosphere yesterday over this ruling, but make no mistake about it. They weren’t happy for the reasons they claimed to be (“preservation of our Constitutional rights!!!!!!!!!!!”) but rather because this was a defeat for the Bush administration – and we do live in an era where Bush-hatred trumps concern for our national security to a certain segment of the Democratic party. A Bush loss in the war on terror is victory to the Bush-haters … and as you know, a Bush loss in the war on terror is not just victory to them, but a significant victory for Islamofascists, too.

Update II: Of course, the Bush-hating NYT weighs in in favor of the ruling:

But for now, with a careful, thoroughly grounded opinion, one judge in Michigan has done what 535 members of Congress have so abysmally failed to do. She has reasserted the rule of law over a lawless administration and shown why issues of this kind belong within the constitutional process created more than two centuries ago to handle them.

ROTFL! Predictability, thy name is the New York Times.

Read more via Eugene Volokh, Confederate Yankee, Captain Ed, Ann Althouse, Mark in Mexico, Jeff Goldstein, Right Wing Nuthouse, Danny Carlton — alias “Jack Lewis”, Iowa Voice, bRight and Early

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7 Responses to “Yesterday’s ruling on the NSA’s warrantless wiretaps”


  1. Dana says:

    Our beautiful blogmistress wrote:

    We’ll see what the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has to say about it, because that’s where it will be headed next. I feel confident that this ruling will be overturned.

    Yeah, and I thought that the Supreme Court would overturn the McCain-Feingold Restriction on Speech Act. :(

    Even if the Sixth Circuit does overturn Judge Taylor, you have to ask when they will do so, and if there will be a stay sufficient to allow the Sixth Circuit to rule on the case without interrupting the program.

  2. Marshall Art says:

    From what I understand, there is some sort of action in progress that will allow the program to continue while they sort out the details of the ruling. Sorry I can’t be more specific. I hear these things while I’m driving.

  3. benning says:

    A Jimmuh Carter appointee. Need we say more? I await the overturning of this ruling.

  4. Phil says:

    Yea benning is correct, I do think that it will be overturned though. Those radical nutcase Liberals just don’t get it, they are going to look like fools when it comes to protecting our national security interests.:d

  5. Big Bang Hunter says:

    – Just remind them of the big “deafeatist” stamp they are now wearing across all their foreheads that gets brighter and brighter, every time they manage to force through one of their “judge shopped” decisions.

    – Bush kicked off exactly the right theme for all upcoming election cycles this morning, so we just need to stay on that track. “Cut and runners”, “quiters”, “appeaseniks”, all of it.

    – This decision will be reversed, and in the mean time, nothing will stop or change. The judicial doesn’t not determine the powers of the president, the Constitution does. the constitution dictates what all three branches can, and cannot do, the judicial is only impowered to interpret, not legislate. She failed ion several area’s in her judgement.

    – Just to stop all this “Progressive” ankle biting, the president should just declare martial law, but all the moonbat’s heads would probably explode.

    – Bang **==

  6. benning says:

    Phil: “… they are going to look like fools …”

    Going to? You mean they’ll get even worse? Gad!:o

    Bang: It’s funny how the Dems always scream about a Republican president overstepping the bounds of his office according to the Constitution. But they are woefully silent on thier own attempts – and success – in expanding the powers of the offices they hold.

    Martial Law? Nahhh, it’d never work. The press would always warn the culprits when a raid was going to take place!