20 August 2007 at 2:37:16 PM
It occurs to me as I've been reading (finally) about some of these court cases that are coming up about all the damage the Bush administration and a complicit Congress has done is... does it really come down to this? That our ONLY hope of having the constitution and our Bill of Rights upheld is through the court system? Woe to us all if it gets up to the Roberts Supreme Court. I mean, I thought Congress was going to STOP Bush and not go along with his actions after Democrats took power, but I'm thoroughly disillusioned now. It remains to groups like the ACLU to try to protect American freedoms through court actions. Back to the article that started these thoughts.
Congress does not have the power to demand silence from people forced to turn over electronic communications such as Internet records used to investigate terrorism, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer argued yesterday.
During oral arguments in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer told Judge Victor Marrero he must strike down a part of the USA Patriot Act that lets the FBI request the records without the kind of court order required for other government searches.
“It doesn’t allow for meaningful judicial review,” Jaffer said of the so-called national security letters, or NSLs, investigative tools used by the FBI to compel businesses to turn over customer information without a judge’s order or grand jury subpoena.
He said the law also disregards First Amendment rights by permitting law enforcement authorities to ban those who receive the letters from talking about them.
“We do think it’s a classic prior restraint because it conditions speech on the permission of executive officers,” he said.
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