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View Diary: NYT: Court to Rule Wiretapping Power Legal (88 comments)

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  •  I don't understand something (7+ / 0-)

    I thought that court could only rule on specific requests for surveillance, not on overall legality/constitutionality of laws.  That's what we have regular courts for.  The fact that the government might wish to introduce confidential evidence in support of its claim of a law's constitutionality shouldn't necessarily bump the case into a special court.

    -5.38/-3.74 We're currently in a sig interregnum. A siggie vacante, as it were.

    by Rich in PA on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 09:28:33 AM PST

    •  Yes, this is my question too.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What kind of precedent power does this court have?

      •  I think it's binding until 12:00 next Tuesday N/T (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        -5.38/-3.74 We're currently in a sig interregnum. A siggie vacante, as it were.

        by Rich in PA on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 09:43:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Precedent (0+ / 0-)

        Decisions of this court are presumably binding on the FIS Court.  However, as this decision reviewed specific provisions of the PAA, which later expired, its direct precedential value is probably small.  Moreover, to the extent the court is ruling on 4th Amendment issues, again while its ruling would be binding on the FIS Court, its decision is not binding on other courts and is merely persuasive (to the extent other courts find it so).

    •  Part of many of the draft bills was inclusion of (2+ / 0-)
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      skywaker9, mspicata

      a request that the FISC rule on the constitutionality of the bill itself.  I assume that provision made it into the law as passed and that this ruling is the result.

      The request was silly PR, an attempt to provide a sheen of judicial review. (FWIW, I think the bill is constitutional, but why not have a regular court make that determination?)

      We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

      by burrow owl on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 09:34:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And the US Supreme Court (3+ / 0-)
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        burrow owl, supak, mspicata

        May well slam dunk them because they don't like mandated judicial review...

        "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

        by skywaker9 on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 09:35:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No such thing as mandated judicial review (0+ / 0-)

          exists.  Only the S.C. has the power of judicial review, and that can only be changed by amending the Constitution.  Of course, the executive and legislative branches of government can violate the Constitution if nobody does anything to stop them.  That's what we have now.  It's also unconstitutional to allow the executive branch of government to make decisions on matters of war or peace.  Only the legislative branch of government can declare war.  What do they do instead?  You know, they start wars that are never "declared."  This is worse than trying to figure out what "it" means, and just as illegal and ridiculous.  Changing the meaning of words we all know has become a common way for the legal profession to allow political criminals to break the law with impunity.  Maybe the worst part is that the American public allows it to happen.  We have a cabal of so-called leaders in Congress who are worse than useless in defending and protecting the Constitutiion.  The only thing they protect and defend is each other.

      •  Since the SCOTUS itself relies on (4+ / 0-)
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        burrow owl, supak, trinite, NCrissieB

        Marbury to exercise that right to determine constitutionality, shouldn't that mean that no other court gets to make that call -- or at least that any other court's ruling is subject to SCOTUS review, including the FISC's?

        "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

        by mspicata on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 09:43:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The case involved a telecom's refusal. (3+ / 0-)
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      skywaker9, mcjoan, TracieLynn

      Apparently a telecom refused to comply with a FISA order issued under the 2007 FISA law, claiming that the law was unconstitutional.  The FISA court denied that objection, and the telecom filed an appeal in the circuit court.  The circuit court seems to have upheld the FISA court's ruling ordering the telecom to comply.

      There's a lot of "apparently" and "seems to" there because the NYT writers haven't seen either ruling, and are relying on descriptions from sources who have.

      In short, the ruling doesn't seem to apply to actions in violation of the 1978 or 2007 FISA laws, but only to the constitutionality of the 2007 FISA law.  (More "seems to," for the reasons above.)

      Make sense?

    •  The power of judicial review (1+ / 0-)
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      or the power to rule on the constitutionality of all laws belongs to the Supreme Court.  That's what I was taught.  I don't think these other courts have the power to allow anyone to violate rights granted in the Constitution.  If the legislative or executive branches of government want to spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant, then they would have to amend the Constitution.  It's the Supreme Court that decides if any rights were violated, but as we know, they don't always make the correct decisions,and many S.C. decisions have later been overturned.  Unfortunately, we're living in a time that has little respect for the Constitution while claiming to believe in a strict interpretation of what it says.  It's really unbelievable and very depressing.  Lies and hypocrisy rule.

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