FISA lawsuit update-good news for a change
So there’s a little update on Electronic Freedom Frontier’s suit against the Telcos. I bet you thought that lawsuit died when Congress passed the retroactive immunity provisions in the FISA bill, didntcha? [doG, I’m starting to use Palinisms. Please just kill me now.]
Oh, but first the good news, it seems our intrepid plaintiffs have not given up and continue to press their suit in the face of the government telling them there is a magic wand that the Attorney General can wave that ,"poof," means judges don’t get to decide these cases any more.
"In essence that gives the attorney general carte blanche to immunize anyone." Walker said, wondering what odd creature Congress had fashioned. "What other statute is like this statute?"
Yes, dear firepups, the judge in this case, has noticed that just maybe, the new law is, dare I say it? Unconstitutional.
Much of the arguments focused on whether Congress violated the separation of powers doctrine; whether the fact that the EFF could and is suing the government over the spying makes immunity constitutional, and the legality of a provision that lets the attorney general give immunity to companies that didn’t even help with the spying.
It seems pretty clear from the reporting to date, that Judge Walker is not just going to rubber stamp what the Bush administration or even Congress sends his way. Nope, he is going to act like a member of a co-equal branch of government and actually ANALYZE the statute, to see if it passes constitutional muster.
So, folks, let me stand and applaud the power of one. One man who is not shirking his responsibility. One man who is not doing the lazy thing, the easy thing or the expedient thing. I don’t know how he will eventually rule, and the outcome may disappoint me. But in this instance, I think I will be satisfied that the decision was actually reached on its merits. That’s been too rare in recent years.