Federal Judge Rules NSA Domestic Surveillance Program Unconstitutional

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 17, 2006

  • Via ACLU, ACLU v. NSA Federal Court Decision,(8/17/2006)
  • Via U.S. District Court, ED of Michigan, ACLU v National Security Agency, 44 pages, PDF.
  • “Description: In the first federal challenge ever argued against the Bush administration’s NSA spying program, U.S. District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor rules that the program to monitor the phone calls and e-mails of millions of Americans without warrants is unconstitutional. Calling for a halt to this abuse of presidential power, Judge Taylor states that “[t]here are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution,” so all the president’s “inherent powers” must derive from the Constitution.”
  • Related government documents and articles:

  • ACLU v. NSA Stay Stipulation (8/18/2006)
  • Judgement and Permanent Injunction Order (8/17/06)
  • DOJ Notice of Appeal (8/17/06)
  • AP: Justice Department Appeals Ruling on Warrantless Wiretapping
  • Statement from the Department of Justice on Today’s Ruling on the Terrorist Surveillance Program
  • Related postings on domestic surveillance program
  • See also the following draft:

  • The First Amendment as Criminal Procedure, by Daniel J. Solove, George Washington University Law School, August 17, 2006, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 217: “This article explores the relationship between the First Amendment and criminal procedure. These two domains of constitutional law have long existed as separate worlds, rarely interacting with each other. But many instances of government information gathering can implicate First Amendment interests such as freedom of speech, association, and religion. The Fourth and Fifth Amendments used to provide considerable protection for First Amendment interests, as in the famous 1886 case, Boyd v. United States, where the Supreme Court held that the government was prohibited from seizing a person’s private papers. Over time, however, Fourth and Fifth Amendment protection shifted, and now countless searches and seizures involving people’s private papers, the books they read, the websites they surf, the pen names they use when writing anonymously, and so on fall completely outside of the protection of constitutional criminal procedure. Professor Solove argues that the First Amendment provides protection against government information gathering implicating First Amendment interests. He contends that there are doctrinal, historical, and normative justifications to develop what he calls “First Amendment criminal procedure.” Solove sets forth an approach to determine when certain instances of government information gathering fall within the regulatory domain of the First Amendment and what level of protection the First Amendment should provide.”
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