NSA Court Hearing Ends
As expected, the first in-court hearing over the National Security Agency's controversial domestic surveillance program has ended without a ruling by U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor. By most accounts the hearing had what one attorney called "an Alice in Wonderland quality to it." The government said that the case should be dismissed because the plaintiffs-- the ACLU, representing scholars, lawyers and journalists-- could not conclusively prove that they were the subject of warrantless eavesdropping. The plaintiffs said this was so because the government is unwilling to share with anyone any such proof.
"On the one hand, the government is saying: `You have to show your clients have been targeted.' They're also saying: `We're not gonna tell you whether or not they've been targeted,"' Kary Moss of the ACLU said after the hearing. Meanwhile, according to the Associated Press, federal attorney Anthony J. Coppolino told the judge that any substantive ruling on the merits of the claims would require "a robust factual record" that is blocked by the military and state secrets doctrine, an executive branch privilege that is designed to block certain kinds of disputes from judicial review.
Dismiss the case in our favor because its complex, say the feds. Grant an injunction in our favor because the law and facts are clear, say the plaintiffs. Next up in the case is a July 10 hearing before Judge Taylor. Don't expect a ruling before then.
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Posted by: how about discussing this point? | June 12, 2006 05:57 PM
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