The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
–Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
It has long since been decided (in 1967, just in case you’re curious) that electronic surveillance is covered by the Fourth Amendment under activities that require probable cause and a warrant to be carried out.
Members of Congress from both parties promise oversight hearings; in the meantime, Bush and Cheney both insist that the illegal wiretaps revealed this week, even the ones that violate the White House’s own limitations on such wiretaps, are perfectly legal and will continue.
Ladies and Gentlemen, is there any way to bring this before the Supreme Court?
I don’t know what the procedure here is. Must we wait for the promised oversight hearings to be completed? If we don’t have to, should we?
Can anyone bring this case to court, or does it have to be someone on the receiving end of the wiretap? Can there be a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Executive Branch?
I’m not necessarily advocating these things, but I do want to know how it works.
Actually, that’s not true. I am advocating one of these things. I think this needs to go to SCOTUS. Bush’s detractors spin it as an egregious crime; his supporters spin it as perfectly legal and even ethical. Meanwhile, a judge on the FISA Court (the court that generally dispenses the warrants in question) submits an ambiguous, but curiously timed, resignation.
Folks, I don’t see any way around it: the Fourth Amendment being what it is, we really do have a Constitutional Crisis on our hands. Even the originalists would have to grapple with this one.
Now, even if you believe that SCOTUS has too much power, too much bias, etc. etc. etc., I think we can all agree that the Supreme Court was created in part to arbitrate Constitutional Crises.
So I feel it’s urgent that someone get this matter before the Supreme Court quickly. As soon as possible/legally ethical. This is a serious matter that needs to be settled.Powered by Sidelines