"There are no hereditary kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution," wrote U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit.
The program, Taylor ruled, violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution.
All sides have agreed to a stay of the ruling until the administration's appeal can be heard, the Justice Department said in a statement released Thursday.
Next time I hear someone talk about how the Constitution is an antiquated document that should be loosely interpreted, I'm going to have to legitimately fight the urge to knock their gd teeth out. Conservatives will say it this time around, focusing on typical partisan blabber about the ACLU and some will go on about how this is judicial activism, while liberals will say things about how our Constitutional rights should be protected (when it's regarding something they happen to care about).
"Instead of poking holes in the Constitution, the administration should get back to plugging holes in our homeland security," said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.
The Justice Department filed an immediate notice of appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court, and asked Judge Taylor to stay her ruling pending the outcome of the appeal. Both sides agreed to a stay while that request is pending in District Court, the Department said in a statement. (That statement can be found here.) The Department called the NSA program "an essential tool for the intelligence community in the War on Terror." It repeated the government claim that the Constitution "gives the President the full authority necessary" to "protect the American people."
I can't seem to find that anywhere in the Constitution. Anybody else had any luck finding that part? I always thought there were three branches of government with governing authority split between them. Call me crazy...
Judge Taylor (read a profile of Judge Taylor from the Detroit Free Press), a 27 year veteran federal judge appointed (for what it's worth) by former Democratic President and Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, said in the ruling, "It was never the intent of the Framers to give the President such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated inthe Bill of Rights. The three separate branches of government were developed as a check and balance for one another."
There's a great review of the decision on SCOTUSblog (scotusblog - add feed)
Now I'm getting back to work.