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View Full Version : Does todays FISA court ruling vindicate Pres. Bush?



cotts135
01-15-2009, 06:45 PM
Today the Fisa court ruled that The Protect America act is Constitutional. I have seen on some various Right wing blogging sites that this ruling is a vindication of the President Bush's warrantless wire tapping and that some people owe him a apology.

Andrew McCarthy National Review:
The New York Times reports that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review — the specialized federal appeals court created by the 1978 FISA statute to rule on questions involving national security surveillance — has reaffirmed that the President of the United States has inherent constitutional authority to monitor international communications without court permission.

Ed Morrisey Hot Air:


This should really enrage the Left. The FISA court will make public a ruling that validates George Bush’s warrantless surveillance on international communications, including those with one terminus in the United States. . . . While the ruling does not directly reference the Terrorist Surveillance Program — at least according to the Times — the ruling on the scope of authority invested in the executive relates directly to that program. . . .

In the end, though, the biggest beneficiary should be George Bush. He has been unfairly castigated as some sort of fascist for using the power he already had available to track terrorist communications and keep this nation safe. Plenty of people owe him a big apology — and the New York Times and Eric Lichtblau are first in line.

As is generally the case with writers with personal agenda's and a bias leaning to one side there is misinformation or the wrong conclusions are drawn .

The ruling dealt with the Constitutionality of the Protect America Act which the Congress passed. This has nothing to do with what President Bush did prior to the laws passage. Equating the two is a false equivalency and just serves to fuel the fire between Left and Right.

From http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/7581

"The FIS Court of Review is the top court in the land on such matters. . . .There is no higher authority in the federal court system.":rolleyes:

YardleyLabs
01-15-2009, 07:05 PM
It will be interesting to read the opinion when it is published. Obviously, the FISA court is not the highest court in the land -- that distinction continues to belong to the SCOTUS. The stories clearly limit the decision to the August 2007 law authorizing warrantless wire taps for six months (expiring in a couple of months.

Eric Johnson
01-16-2009, 09:29 AM
Jeff

In most cases you are correct....but not all.

Look up the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. You'll see that the Supremes have a very limited jurisdiction which is not the same appellate jurisdiction as in most cases. They almost never hear a case from this court and when they do it is only in a special circumstance...a writ of habeas corpus. The reason is that this court is established under Art I of the Constitution...not Art III.

The article here discusses two courts. The FISA and the FIS Court of Review. It's very possible that this system is roughly parallel to the Court of Military Appeals.

Eric