This Is A Good Day For Terrorists

That and the usual anti-judiciary catch phrases will soon be thrown around by our nation’s demagogues and their slavish followers, because U.S District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor just told King George that yes, he is subject to the law, and no, he can not unilaterally wiretap our phone lines. The story, with a link to the opinion, is here. My favorite part is this:

The Government appears to argue here that, pursuant to the penumbra of Constitutional language in Article II, and particularly because the President is designated Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, he has been granted the inherent power to violate not only the laws of the Congress but the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution, itself.

If you’ve gone to law school, or are else you just pay a lot of attention to arguments about the constitution, you know just how funny that statement is.

Long ago, Scotus said that Connecticut’s statute prohibiting birth control violated the constitutional right to privacy. Wherein lay that right? In the “penumbras” emanating from the entire text of the Bill of Rights. Since then, that phrase has been mocked, ridiculed, and rejected by so-called strict constructionists everywere.

George Bush, of course, has pledged on more than one occasion to appoint only judges who strictly construe the law; judges who would scoff at the idea of penumbras. So to hear George Bush’s arguments for absolute power called exactly what they are – the thing he says he hates – is just too funny. You can’t have it both ways, Georgie boy.  

Update: Here‘s a great example of the oh-so-typical, but oh-so-predictable response I mentioned:

I figured Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, a 73-year-old Jimmy Carter appointee, would have the chutzpah to overturn the NSA wiretapsand rule in favor of the ACLU and its raft of Islamist, America-hating plaintiffs. And she did not disappoint my low expectations of her.

Reactions by similarly simple minded goobers are catalogued here. Thoughtful responses are here, and here. My opinion is pretty much the same as this one:

Although the court reaches the right result– that the program is illegal, much of the opinion is disappointing, and I would even suggest, a bit confused. . . .

It is quite clear that the government will appeal this opinion, and because the court’s opinion, quite frankly, has so many holes in it, it is also clear to me that the plaintiffs will have to relitigate the entire matter before the circuit court, and possibly the Supreme Court. The reasons that the court below has given are just not good enough. This is just the opening shot in what promises to be a long battle.

Explore posts in the same categories: Fourth Amendment, National Politics, Scotus

4 Comments on “This Is A Good Day For Terrorists”

  1. […] Wheeler, who is an attorney and would have to charge W for his expertise, has commentary on the case at Alablawg. […]

  2. Mark Says:

    The government’s argument would allow the President to do anything without judicial review as long as it was draped in the mantle of state security. Obviously a new police force is required to do the President’s bidding in these cases. I suggest that it be named the Secret Government Police. We could call it the Sesgapo.

  3. Jack Davis Says:

    I notice that the Administrator’s defenders-e.g. Malkin,Limbaugh, and their ilk, keep referring to the fact that the Judge is a Carter appointee. I guess ipso facto her decision must be wrong by their twisted logic.

    I thought conservatives were strict constructionists who believed in the “rule of law.” I guess that was only when a Democrat was in the White House. Now that their hero Bush is pres, he should have carte blanche to break any law he feels in the name of national security.

  4. wheeler Says:


    “I guess ipso facto her decision must be wrong by their twisted logic.”

    you hit the nail on the head. criticism of the merits is good, and this decision is less than stellar. correct, yes, but not well reasoned.

    but this all too prevalant tactic of assuming that unfavorable rulings are necessarily the result of bias, incompetance, or wickedness does not accomplish anything.

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