US Judge Halts Bush's Spying Program


Diamond Member
Jul 11, 2004
There it is........... Sweet. & News Agencies

Taylor said that Bush overstepped his authority when authorizing the program as it violated the Constitution.

CHICAGO — A US judge on Thursday, August 17, halted President George W. Bush's controversial domestic spying program as "unconstitutional", dealing a blow to Bush's attempts to expand sweeping presidential powers following the September attacks.

Federal Judge Anna Diggs Taylor said that Bush overstepped his authority when authorizing the program as it violated the Constitution, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

"It was never the intent of the (Constitutional) framers to give the president such unfettered control, particularly when his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights," Taylor wrote in a 43-page opinion.

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Bush secretly authorized the super-secret domestic spying program by the National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept communications without the court approval required under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

He has defended the program, claiming it was limited only to monitoring international phone and e-mail communications linked to people with connections to Al-Qaeda.

But The New York Times later disclosed that the NSA has "directly" tapped the country’s main communications systems without court-approved warrants.

"There are no hereditary kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution," the US Judge said.

A lawsuit challenging the program was brought before the Michigan court by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of a number of journalists, lawyers, scholars and rights workers.

They argued that the program prevented them from doing their work because people were afraid to speak with them on the telephone or send e-mails that could be monitored. (this my friends is why this lawsuit was brought forward)

The US judge ruled that they had faced "irreparable injury" because the surveillance program violated their rights to free speech and protection from unwarranted searches.

"The public interest is clear, in the manner," Taylor wrote. "It is the upholding of our constitution."

The court ruling was immediately appealed by the NSA and the injunction was temporarily stayed ahead of an appeals court ruling.


"Today's ruling is a landmark victory against the abuse of power that has become the hallmark of the Bush administration," said Romero.

The court ruling has immediately drawn a warming welcome from the Muslim minority and rights groups.

"The ruling of the judge is not only a victory for the American Muslim community but a victory for the entire American population," said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for Michigan, which joined the ACLU as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The ACLU, which filed the lawsuit, also extolled the ruling.

"Today's ruling is a landmark victory against the abuse of power that has become the hallmark of the Bush administration," said Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU.

"Government spying on innocent Americans without any kind of warrant and without Congressional approval runs counter to the very foundations of our democracy."

But the Bush administration was quick to criticize the ruling, defending the spying program.

The White House claimed that the program was "firmly grounded in law and regularly reviewed to make sure steps are taken to protect civil liberties."

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said he was both surprised and disappointed by the ruling.


The ruling was seen a major blow to Bush's attempts to expand presidential powers following the 9/11 attacks.

"It's pretty sweeping," said Robert Bennett, a professor at Northwestern University's law school.

He noted that the ruling went beyond faulting the Bush administration for violating Congressional rules on wiretapping.

"The Bush administration is losing pretty regularly on assertions that it's overstepping its authority."

Thursday's ruling comes just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that the Bush administration overstepped its authority in setting up military tribunals for Guantanamo detainees.

Democrats said the ruling highlighted Bush's skewed priorities.

"Rather than griping about having to go to a FISA court for legal clearance to wiretap potential terrorists, the Bush Administration should fully inspect cargo put on passenger planes and make sure that a nuclear bomb isn't sent on a container ship to a major US port," said Representative Ed Markey, a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Senator Ted Kennedy said Bush's cavalier decision to make up his own rules undermined national security.

"By ignoring that law, the Administration took a path filled with legal uncertainty, putting employees of the National Security Agency at risk of criminal penalties and jeopardizing prosecutions of terrorists who may be able to successfully challenge the evidence against them," Kennedy said.

Bush's popularity was not given a boost even after the foiling of an alleged plot to bomb planes flying from Britain to the United States, according to a poll released Thursday.

The Pew Research Center poll found that 37 percent of Americans approved of Bush's overall performance, virtually unchanged from a July survey.

Fifty percent approved of Bush's handling of terrorist threats, compared to 47 percent in June. The poll was largely conducted after the alleged airline bombing plot was revealed on August 10.

My 2cnts:

I'm beginning to wonder, if we're just going to sit here and let, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)(this is what they brought this suit over...Not US AMERICAN CITIZENS), (but journalist, scholars, lawyers, and activists) over take our safety and get us all killed....The ACLU should be considered an enemy of the United States and denied federal funding...Every time they win a lawsuit, whether it be against a Christian cross, or a Christmas tree, or a right of a terrorist, they receive a judgement of monies....We need too stand UP AGAINST THE ACLU........NOW, NOT LATER......

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