News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Constitutional Scholars Blast Bush on NSA Program

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Constitutional Scholars Blast Bush on NSA Program

See the letter to Congress, written by 14 eminent constitutional scholars, as well as several former government employees. They take issue with the President's rationale for spying on US citizens, not to mention the rulings put out by the Justice Department.

In conclusion, the DOJ letter fails to offer a plausible legal defense of the NSA domestic spying program. If the Administration felt that FISA was insufficient, the proper course was to seek legislative amendment, as it did with other aspects of FISA in the Patriot Act, and as Congress expressly contemplated when it enacted the wartime wiretap provision in FISA. One of the crucial features of a constitutional democracy is that it is always open to the President--or anyone else--to seek to change the law. But it is also beyond dispute that, in such a democracy, the President cannot simply violate criminal laws behind closed doors because he deems them obsolete or impracticable.
[My emphasis]

No comments: