October 4, 2006
Carter Judge Slapped Down By Circus
On August 17th, we wrote about 5-named Carter appointee Judge Anna Katherine Johnson Diggs Taylor, a Motown judge who took it upon herself to decide whether the president can intercept communications of al-Qaeda terrorists... and in fact, whether Congress can even allow the president to do so.
"The game is afoot," as Sherlock Holmes said. (Oh yes he did; in "the Adventure of the Abbey Grange," for example.)
The first federal judge has struck down President Bush's NSA al-Qaeda intercept program as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. Anna Katherine Johnston Diggs Taylor ruled for the plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union [the AP link is now dead]:
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs. They believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets of the program, monitoring phone calls and e-mails between people in the U.S. and people in other countries when a link to terrorism is suspected.
Now, ordinarily, when a judge overturns such a major program as this, especially when there are significant constitutional questions, she will stay execution of her own ruling until the relevant appellate court rules. Maybe I'm mistaken about this, but I sure recall seeing many other judges stay their own rulings; lawyers, am I wrong about this?
But in the Case of Anna Katherine Johnson Diggs Taylor, she refused to do so: rather, she agreed only to stay her ruling, demanding the immediate cessation of the NSA al-Qaeda intercept program, for a single week. That is, she demanded that if the circus court of appeals wants to stay her ruling until they can rule, they'd bloody well better act quickly -- on her schedule, not theirs:
A federal judge in Detroit who has ruled President Bush's Terrorist Surveillance Program unconstitutional Thursday gave the federal government one week to get a higher court to say whether the eavesdropping program should be allowed to continue while her ruling is appealed.
Under the ruling by U.S. District Judge Anna [Katherine Johnson] Diggs Taylor, the National Security Agency program, under which wiretaps can be obtained without first getting warrants, would have to cease Thursday, unless the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules otherwise.
Well, if she wanted to provoke a reaction from the 6th Circuit -- she got one. Today, the Ohio-based court issued its own stay of execution. I can only imagine how irked they must have been, with district court Judge Anna Katherine Johnson Diggs Taylor telling them, in essence, to dance when she plays the tune:
The unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave little explanation for the decision. In the three-paragraph ruling, judges said that they balanced the likelihood an appeal would succeed, the potential damage to both sides and the public interest.
Actually, I think that's a lot of explanation. Evidently, all three judges believed the following:
- There is a substantial likelihood that they will overturn Anna Katherine Johnson Diggs Taylor's opinion striking down the terrorist communications interdiction program;
- If the program were ended, it would substantially damage United States national security;
- And that there is a strong public-interest argument in favor of the program to counter the public-interest argument against it.
While it's rhetorically dangerous to leap to the conclusion that the circuit court will overturn the district court merely because they agreed to issue a stay, when the decision is unanimous, I think there is at least significant cause for optimism.
So the bony hand of the long-gone administration of James Earl Carter reached out, clutching for its last grasp at anti-Americanism; but it got slapped away by the 6th Circus. I wonder if Anna Katherine Johnson Diggs Taylor stamped her foot like Rumplestiltskin when she heard?
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 4, 2006, at the time of 4:53 PM
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In a wonderful ruling today out of the Sixth Circus, the ACLU's gaggle of the perpeturally aggrieved was told to pack up their federal lawsuit against the NSA al-Qaeda intercept program; the appellate court held that none of them has... [Read More]
Tracked on July 6, 2007 1:54 PM
The following hissed in response by: hunter
The Carter legacy:
His policies led directly to the establishment of the cruelest theocracy in the world - Iran.
His cowardice led to the destruction of the nuclear energy industry.
His meddling in foreign policy after he was tossed out of the Whitehouse contributed to the mess in North Korea.
His Judges hate America so much, and in the case of this 'Judge' in Detroit, are so corrupt, that they don't even judge but rather preach and legislate.
Carter is a bitter foolish man who has damaged this nation greatly. And he was never a 'nuclear scientist, as he likes to pose. He was a USN engineer trained in nuclear propulsion. And there is a huge difference between the two. That he pretends otherwise tells volumes about him.
The following hissed in response by: Nuclear Siafu
You got my hopes up with the title. Here I was expecting that I'd get to read about a pretentious Carter appointee being slapped around by an elephant, but instead all I got was a hopeful sign that there's still some sanity in the courts.
I hope you're happy.
The above hissed in response by: Nuclear Siafu at October 5, 2006 5:29 AM
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