Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Supreme Court Refuses To Hear ACLU Challenge to Bush Wire Taps.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday 19 Feb 2008 turned down a legal challenge to the warrantless domestic spying program President Bush created after the 9/11/2001 Muslim terrorists' attacks on the WTC.

The American Civil Liberties Union had asked the justices to hear the case after a lower court ruled the ACLU, other groups and individuals that sued the government had no legal right to do so because they could not prove they had been affected by the program. They lacked legal "standing" to sue.

The civil liberties group also asked the Supreme Court to make clear that Bush does not have the power under the U.S. Constitution to engage in intelligence surveillance within the United States that Congress has expressly prohibited.

President Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez authorized the program to monitor international phone calls and e-mails of U.S. citizens without first obtaining a court warrant. The program's disclosure in December 2005 caused a political uproar among civil liberties activists.

The administration abandoned the program in about 2007, putting it under the surveillance court that Congress created more than 30 years ago.

The appeals court based in Cincinnati dismissed the case because the plaintiffs could not state with certainty they had been wiretapped by the government's National Security Agency.

Bush Administration lawyers opposed the appeal and said further review by the Supreme Court was unwarranted.

The Supreme Court sided with the Bush Administration and rejected the appeal without any comment.

1 comment:

ichbinalj said...

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
With the addition of the Supreme Court's newest member, Justice Samuel Alito Jr., top row at right, the high court sits for a new group photograph in this March 3, 2006 file photo, at the Supreme Court Building in Washington. Seated in the front row, from left to right are: Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, and Associate Justice David Souter. Standing, from left to right, in the top row, are: Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr. Alito who took his seat on the court Feb. 21, replacing Sandra Day O'Connor, who made history in 1981 as the first woman to join the Supreme Court. Justice Stevens, nominated by President Gerald Ford, is now the longest serving member of the current court; he took his seat in December 1975. There is only one anti-bias law _ the one against discrimination based on age, yet the justices are confronted by allegations of age discrimination in five cases in the spring 2008 term. While the sheer number of cases probably can be explained away as coincidence, the topic is one of growing importance as more people work longer because of economic necessity or by choice.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (J. Scott Applewhite - AP)