Friday, July 06, 2007

Rats . . . .

From Congressional Quarterly today:
Appeals Court Dismisses Challenge to NSA Surveillance Program

A federal appeals court has vacated a lower court ruling against President Bush’s warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled 2-1 Friday that the plaintiffs in the case, led by the American Civil Liberties Union, lacked standing to bring the case.

“Because the plaintiffs cannot show that they have been or will be subjected to surveillance personally, they clearly cannot establish standing under the Fourth Amendment or FISA,” referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (PL 95-511), Judge Alice M. Batchelder wrote in the court’s opinion in the case American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency.

A Michigan federal judge ruled in August 2006 that the program was unconstitutional, a decision the government appealed. The 6th Circuit had stayed the district court’s injunction while the appeal was pending.

“We are deeply disappointed by today’s decision that insulates the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance activities from judicial review and deprives Americans of any ability to challenge the illegal surveillance of their telephone calls and e-mails,” said ACLU Legal Director Steven R. Shapiro. He said an appeal to the Supreme Court was possible.

Now let's see. If it gets to the Supreme Court, just how do we think the Roberts Court will come down on this issue ? ? ? ?

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