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Is today (or this week) going to effectively all but be the end of the 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizures?  On one hand, this does not seem to be anything that hasn’t been thought or written about before.  Yet on the other hand, it is the 4th friggin Amendment we are talking about here.  And, it doesn’t seem to be a big deal to many people (present company excluded, of course) – that is, if they even know about it.

The Democratic members of Congress who inexplicably let a bill sponsored by the Minority Leader get passed which gave Alberto Gonzales - an Attorney General so bad that hearing him be called a "sneaky lying SOB" and the "most dangerous" attorney general is a daily occurrence - more power to spy on Americans are smacking themselves.  Senator Reid, no doubt feeling the hangover and sinking feeling after a long night of being screwed in an utterly embarrassing way, is calling for a "do over".  

But just as you can’t get a do over on losing your virginity, you don’t just get rights back that were taken away or given up as easily as these were.  This is a bigger disappointment, or at least very close to as big a disappointment as the stunning collapse on the Iraq supplemental bill.

And on the same day as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals hears not one but two cases on domestic spying, we are treated to news that nobody in the administration gives a rat’s ass about anything other than whatever they feel like doing and the government is expanding domestic use of spy satellites.

Why settle for just a stick in the eye when you can make it a flaming stick, right?  

It is amazing enough that even one of these things is going on, let alone all of them.  At the same time.  What makes this even more surreal is that, even with all of the evidence that has been leaked, presented, testified about or discussed with respect to acts that are (1) not legal, (2) admitted to being authorized and/or done by the highest levels of this administration, (3) pretty much with full knowledge that they were not legal when they were being done or authorized. what was the general response to all of this, for this long period of time?




(sound of crickets chirping).....




The government (not to mention) AT&T argues there is no secret data mining or illegal surveillance.  Except when there is.  But even still, it doesn’t matter because even if it did exist, it is a matter of national security and can’t be discussed.  Or denied, even though denying it acknowledges that it can be denied, even though there is nothing to deny in the first place.  But the spy satellites are there to monitor "terrorists only", and won’t be used for nefarious purposes either.  Well, not either, per se, because there is nothing else that is being done anyway.  Or not being done.

And if the Ninth Circuit thinks that is a peachy keen argument, or even if it calls bullshit on that outrageously arrogant and childish argument – it will go on from here.  The Supreme Court will either deny cert (more likely, to me) if the government wins, or will grant cert really just needing one vote to effectively replace the text of the 4th Amendment with one word and a date:

"Stricken", 2007

Now, who in the Senate can say that voting against Roberts, Alito and Gonzales while still voting for cloture on their "upperdown votes" wasn’t such a big deal?

Originally posted to clammyc on Wed Aug 15, 2007 at 12:16 PM PDT.

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