A federal judge has resigned from a special court set up to oversee government surveillance to protest President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program on people with suspected terrorist ties, The Washington Post reported.
The action by U.S. District Judge James Robertson stemmed from deep concern that the surveillance program that Bush authorized was legally questionable and may have tainted the work of the court that Robertson resigned from, the newspaper said in Wednesday's editions.
The Post quoted two associates of the judge.
Robertson was appointed a federal judge by Clinton in 93 and CJ Rehnquist later appointed him to the secret FISA court.
Quoting colleagues of Robertson, the Post said the judge had indicated he was concerned that information gained from the warrantless surveillance under Bush's program subsequently could have been used to obtain warrants under the FISA program.
The Post said Robertson, without providing an explanation, stepped down from the FISA court in a letter late Monday to Chief Justice John Roberts. He did not resign his parallel position as a federal district judge.
Apparently, Judge Robertson has had other concerns regarding the questionable legality of other actions by the Bush administration:
Robertson has been critical of the Bush administration's treatment of detainees at the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, most memorably in a decision that sidetracked the president's system of military tribunals to put some detainees on trial.
Robertson's resignation was reported hours after Vice President Dick Cheney strongly defended the surveillance program and called for "strong and robust" presidential powers.
Great to see someone standing up for what is right. The question now is how, not if, Bush's minions will perform their character assassination of Judge Robertson.