Holy shit! Didn’t expect to see this news item actually come to pass, and out of Detroit no less. Details are scarce at the moment, but expect a whole lot more info as the day goes on:
DETROIT – A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government’s warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.
U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency’s program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy.
“Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution,” Taylor wrote in her 43-page opinion.
Loud whining about “activist judges” to begin in 5… 4… 3… 2…
Update: Ed Brayton takes a close look at the ruling on his blog and it’s rather impressive. He doesn’t think it’ll stand on appeal, but it should.
But here’s the problem: it makes the administration’s unconstitutional actions immune from judicial review completely. It’s a perfect mobius strip of logic: we can’t tell you who is surveilled under the law because of the state secrets privilege, and if you don’t know who is surveilled you can’t prove you have standing. That means there is simply no check at all on executive power, something that constitution clearly did not intend.
Go read his full analysis. It’s good stuff.
Update II: Glen Greenwald has more on the ruling including some of the ridiculous reactions to it by various conservatives so far:
So, so far we have – (1) the Judge was appointed by Jimmy Carter; (2) the Judge is African-American and works on “civil rights” matters; (3) she is insane; (4) she does not take terrorism seriously; (5) this is a victory for the terrorist; (6) President Bush should defy the Order. That’s a predictable enough beginning, but the smear machine is going to have to work a little harder, because that is not all that impressive of an attack so far. I recommend the Free Press profile—read that and decide if her abilities and fairness can be legitimately demonized.
More pro-Bush reaction is compiled here, including this from Jawa Report (“lets hope the first bomb that comes here is dropped on this judges head”) and this from Debbie Schussel (“She seems to hate America and fairness almost as much as the Plaintiffs do”). And some nice race-based smearing can be found by Gateway Pundit here (her husband was a Congressman whose “district included downtown Detroit and some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. He was the first chairman of the Congressional black Caucus”). That’s really relevant.
About what you’d expect from a lot of those people.